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from Janihs Schamus • Todd McCarthy 

Ellen Schneider* 'Rick Prelinger • Chris Eyre 

Ruby Lerner^m Berliner • SuFriedrich 

Mark Crispin Miller • Cathleen Q'Connell 

Elizabeth Peters • Stacey Spikes 

AISO: 

THE ART Of SUBTITLING 

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Publisher: Elizabeth Peters 

Editor in Chief: Patricia Thomson 
leditor@aivf.orgl 

Managing Editor: Paul Power 
lindependent@aivf.orgl 

Listings Editor: Scott Castle 
lfestivals@aivf.orgl 

Interns: Lisa Vasta, Emily Bobrow 
Contributing Editors: Richard Baimbridge, Lissa Gibbs, Mark J. 
Huisman, Gary 0. Larson, Cara Merles, Barbara Bliss Osborn, 

Rob Rownd, Robert L. Seigel, Esq. 

Design Director: Daniel Christmas 
lstartree@speedsite.coml 

Advertising Director: Laura D. Davis 
(212)807-1400x225, 
ldisplayads@aivf.orgl 



National Distribution: 
Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Printed in the USA by Cadmus Journal Services 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: 
The Independent Film & Video Monthly, 304 Hudson St., 6 ft, NY, NY 10013. 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731-5198) is published month- 
ly except February and September by the Foundation for Independent Video and Film 
(FIVF), a nonprofit, tax-exempt educational foundation dedicated to the promotion of 
video and film Subscription to the magazine is included in annual membership dues 
($55/yr individual: $35/yr student; $100/yr nonprofit organization; $150/yr busi- 
ness/industry) paid to the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), 
the national trade association of individuals involved in independent film and video. 
Library and school subscriptions are $75/yr Contact: AIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6-fl., NY, 
NY 10013, (212) 807-1400; fa* (212) 463-8519; independent@aivf.org; 
www.aivf.org Periodical Postage Paid at New York, NY, and at additional mailing 
offices 



NATIONAL 
ENDOWMENT 
FOR THE ARTS 



Publication of The Independent is made possible in part 
with public funds from the New York State Council on the 
Arts, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the 
Arts, a federal agency Publication of any advertisement in 
The Independent does not constitute an endorsement. 
AIVF/FIVF are not responsible for any claims made in an ad. 
Letters to The Independent should be addressed to the editor tetters may be edit- 
ed for length All contents are copyright of the Foundation for Independent Video and 
Rim, Inc. Reprints require written permission and acknowledgement of the article's 
previous appearance in The Independent. The Independent is indexed in the 
Alternative Press Index and is a member of the Independent Press Association. 

© Foundation for Independent Video & Film, Inc. 2000 
AIVF/FIVF staff: Elizabeth Peters, executive director; Michelle Coe, program 4 infor- 
mation services director; LaTrice Dixon, membership & advocacy director; Donna 
Joyce, information services assistant; Jessica Perez, administrative director; Josh 
Sanchez, webmaster; Katie Cokmos, MAESTRO coordinator; Liza Donatelli, Toolkit 
coordinator; Eugene Hernandez, web consultant 

AIVF/FIVF legal counsel Robert I. Freedman, Esq., Leavy, Rosensweig & Hyman 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Lorn Ding (co-president), Lee Lew-Lee, Graham Leggat, 
Ruby Lerner*, Peter Lewnes, Richard Linklater, Cynthia Lopez*, Diane Markrow (co- 
chair), Jim McKay (secretary, vice president), Robb Moss (co-chair), Elizabeth Peters 
(ex officio), Robert Richter (treasurer), James Schamus*, Valerie Soe, Barton Weiss 
(co-president). 
* FIVF Board of Directors only. 




l*CH*tK>N «o«fro* 



1IIU U % ILAt, 



Features 

32 The Art of Subtitling 

Accepted to a foreign festival? Congrats! But now you face the task of subtitling your film. 
Here's a look at who pays, where to get it done, and whether to trust your translator. 

by Andrea Meyer 

36 A Y2K Time Capsule 

To celebrate the turn of the millennium, The Independent asked 12 industry professionals to 
prepare a Y2K time capsule that represents film and video at this particular point in time. 

by Alan Berliner; Su Friedrich; Cathleen O'Connell; Chris Eyre; 
Ruby Lerner; Elizabeth Peters; Mark Crispin Miller; Stacey Spikes; 
Rick Prelinger; James Schamus; Ellen Schneider; Todd McCarthy 

41 Inside the Cinema of Outsiders 

Variety critic and scholar Emmanuel Levy talks about his latest book, Cinema of Outsiders. 
by Patricia Thomson 



2 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 




5 Editor's Note 
7 News 

Results from Latinos' "brown-out" of the 
TV networks; an artist-run movie theater 
opens in Chicago. 

by Jacqueline Conciatore; 
Nadine Ekrek 

12 Wired Blue Yonder 

Four models for presenting film on the web; 
noteworthy web resources. 

by Rob Rownd; Lisa Vasta 

16 Festival Circuit 

The Montreal Festival of New Cinema; Cinematexas; Mill Valley Film 
Festival; Raindance Film Festival. 

by Jerry White; Holly Willis; Brendan Peterson; 
Holly Hudson-Groves 





Departments 

22 The Business Pages 

Insider advice on marketing your film to the industry from Mark 
Urmann of Lions Gate Releasing. 

by Lynn Ermann 

Responding to "runaway production" that's being lost to Canada, the 
state and federal governments are offering tax incentives of their own. 

by Peter Wentworth 



29 New Technology 

The Film Logic program is 
put through its paces. 

by Zed Saeed 



FAQ & Info 

44 Distributor FAQ 

Strand Releasing offers 
up gay-themed and 
foreign films, plus a slate 
of re-releases. 

by Lissa Gibbs 

46 Funder FAQ 

The International Film 
Financing Conference 
(IFFCON) is a vital tool 
for producers seeking 
financing. 

by Michelle Coe 



48 
53 
57 

@AIVF 

60 
61 

63 
72 



COVER: The LegaSea underwater time capsule, one of many such cultural containers 
featured in Cathleen O'Connell's upcoming documentary. Time Capsule: Message in a 
Bottle. Cover photo: LegaSea; opposite: Westinghouse Museum; courtesy filmmaker 





January February 2000 T H E I N D E P E N D E N T 3 





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White Ox films: Funding the Future 



This year AIVF turns 25. Times have 
certainly changed since its founding. The 
Independent Gazette — the forerunner of 
this magazine — made its debut in July 
1976 with a cartoon on its cover lampoon- 
ing the cigar-smokin', wheelin' dealin' 
Hollywood producer type, who is shown 
shouting into the phone, "I got Brando, 
Redford, Nicholson, and Streisand!!! Bill 
Goldman'll do script, Paul Simon'll do the 
score, Lumet'll direct!!! ... I got a double-tier 
tax deal with a 
negative pick-up 
waiting in the 
wings and all I 
need is you!" 

If the feisty, 
grassroots inde- 
pendents of the 
70s couldn't get 
far enough away 
from Hollywood's 
corporate power- 
brokers, that's 
hardly the case 
for all indepen- 
dents today. The 
term "indepen- 
dent producer" 

has expanded to include those who would 
love to see Jack Nicholson attached to 
their film, and wouldn't mind a negative 
pick-up deal, either. 

But some things never change: The 
concern with funding. The interest in new 
technologies, particularly those that are 
low cost. Understanding the fine print in 
your distribution contract. Copyright law. 
Opportunities on cable. Case studies of 
how other independents get their projects 
done. . . . Significantly, this list is a run- 
down of the articles in The Independent 
Gazette. The fact that it would also make a 
nice editorial package today shows just 
how much independents still have a need 
of solid, pratical information. And that's 
precisely what AIVF and The Independent 
have aimed to provide all these years. 

In this first issue of the new millennium, 
we take a look forward and a look back. To 
celebrate our 25th anniversary, we're initi- 
ating a monthly column that revisits past 
issues of The Independent. To remember 



what "independent film" was like in the 
seventies and what it has become today, 
we talked to Emmanuel Levy about his 
book chronicling that history, Cmema of 
Outsiders. And to assist film historians of 
the next millennium, we've invited 12 film 
professionals to assemble the film/video 
component of a Y2K time capsule. 

For my part, I'd enclose every back issue 
of The Independent, which (all bias aside) 
has been one of the best and 
most thorough chronicles of 
independent film and video 
as it has evolved during the 
last quarter of the 20th cen- 
tury. And on the capsule's 
kryptonite frontispiece, I'd 
engrave the founding princi- 
ples of AIVF, as stated in The 
Independent Gazette: 

1. The Association is an organi- 
zation of and for independent 
video and filmmakers. 



Other Ideas: Ed Ljuch 



Association ct INDEPENDENT VIDEO AND FILMMAKERS, inc 



2. The Association encourages 
excellence, commitment and 
independence; it stands for the 
principle that video and film- 
making is more than just a job, that it goes 
beyond economics to involve the expression of 
broad human values. 

3. The Association works, through the com- 
bined efforts of the membership, to provide 
practical, informational, and moral support for 
independent video- and filmmakers and is ded- 
icated to insuring the survival and providing 
support for the continuing growth of indepen- 
dent video and filmmaking. 

4- The Association does not limit its support to 
one genre, ideology, or aesthetic, but furthers 
diversity of vision in artistic and social con- 
sciousness. 

5. The Association champions independent 
video and film as valuable, vital expressions of 
our culture, and is determined to open, by 
mutual action, pathways toward exhibition of 
this work to the community at large. 

What better set of resolutions for the new 



year: 



Patricia Thomson, editor in chief 



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HASTA LA VISTA, PRIMETIME 

Spumed by the major networks, 
Latinos apply pressure through a TV boycott. 



The "brown out" of major TV 
broadcast networks in September 
didn't generate widespread tune- 
out among Latinos, but it did get 
media play. Larger agitation around 
the diversity issue by Latino and 
other minority groups, including the 
NAACP also won some discrete 
responses on the networks' part and 
seems to have built momentum for 
future activism. 

Last spring, two things happened: 
the Screen Actors Guild released 
statistics showing the number of TV 
and film roles going to minorities 
had declined for the first time since 
the union started tracking the 
diversity employment figures in 
1992. Several weeks later, the big 
four TV networks— ABC, NBC, 
CBS, and Fox — unveiled a fall sea- 
son without a lead African- 
American or Latino character in 
any new show. Minorities took notice. While 
NAACP president Kweisi Mfume charged a 
virtual whitewash of the networks and threat- 
ened to bring suit, Latino leaders took bolder 
action, urging constituents to "brown out" the 
networks from September 12-25. 

At the outset, some Latino journalists criti- 
cized the boycott as a weak political move. The 
coalition of groups assembled by the National 
Council of La Raza "were advocacy organiza- 
tions used to dealing with everything from the 
insulting thing senator so-and-so said to immi- 
gration issues. Their specialty was by no means 
media," says James Garcia, editor of Politico, a 
magazine of Latino political news. "They put it 
together on the fly. It would have been helpful 
to have had a mechanism set up by which they 
could measure [success]." 

But while the organizers talked of the boy- 
cott dismaying TV advertisers and thus getting 
the networks' full attention, they also say the 
boycott was never intended to generate wide- 
spread tune-out, only to raise awareness in the 
entertainment industry. "If we can educate a 
large proportion of the community and others 
who are interested in this issue, then we've sue- 




Felix R. Sanchez, president of the 
National Hispanic Foundation for the 
Arts, which was one of the catalysts 
behind September's "brown-out." 



ceeded," La Raza 
spokesperson Lisa 
Navarrete told the 
Associated Press. In 
the history of net- 
work television, there has not been a Latina 
cast in a lead role, nor a show about an intact 
Latino family, save for I Love Lucy and a little - 
known ABC program called Condo, says Felix 
Sanchez, president of the National Hispanic 
Foundation for the Arts. "That means literally 
we have never visually captured a Latino fami- 
ly as a functional and integrated unit," he says. 
Through the boycott, organizers hoped also to 
raise awareness in the Latino community, 
Sanchez continues. "When you have never had 
a presence on television to begin with, there is 
not a high expectation that there should be a 
strong presence." 

The networks responded by pointing to 
existing minority roles, some on ensemble pro- 
grams such as ER and NBC's new Third Watch. 
They also expressed their commitment to 
diversity and promised to increase the number 
of minorities in significant roles. CBS defended 
its record, according to E! Online News, by not- 
ing that 11 of its 19 series would have minority 



Edited by Paul Power 

characters in "primary" roles in the fall and by 
pointing to its development of a new program 
for January 2000 launch, Steve Bochco's City of 
Angels, which will have a primarily black cast. 
In recent months, the industry has respond- 
ed more concretely, says Sanchez. Time- 
Warner and Disney-ABC agreed to establish 
internship programs for his foundation's schol- 
arship recipients. The foundation awards 
money to graduate students aspiring to write, 
produce, and direct. CBS recently announced 
it was developing a new series with director 
Gregory Nava (Selena). Nickelodeon announ- 
ced two new shows targeting Latino children, 
while WB, which escaped criticism because it's 
had a more diverse lineup, announced plans to 
produce Latino-themed series. 

Looking ahead, the NAACP and La Raza 
have established a committee of four co-chairs 
who plan to sit down and strategize with net- 
work execs, says Sanchez. The Latino groups 
are also considering buying stock in parent 
companies of the networks, as NAACP did 
recently, which would allow them into share- 
holder meetings to voice concerns. 

The NAACP seems headed toward its own 
"much more dramatic" boycott of a television 
network in January, and if it does so, 
the Latino groups will join the 
effort, says Sanchez. January is when 
TV's creative minds are planning 
new shows. 

Garcia would like to see the orga- 
nizations push for head counts and 
keep up constant pressure, much as news orga- 
nizations including the Radio and Television 
News Directors Association have done. "Head 
counts have put serious pressure on news orga- 
nizations for years," says Garcia, "and only in 
the last couple have newspapers said, 'This is 
how we're going to go about trying to bring 
more minorities into our staffs.' That's what the 
television industry needs." What's critical is 
who's at the table when staffs vet new show 
concepts, he concludes. The reason there is 
more of a presence, even a peripheral one, for 
gays and lesbians has to do with the fact gays 
and lesbians are part of the Hollywood culture. 
"Until blacks and Latinos become part of that 
. . . then everything has this kind ot pop tad 
quality, like the music industry now saying, 'We 
need to find another Ricky Martin.' " 

— Jacqueline Conciatore 

Jacqueline Conciatore fjconciatOTe@earthtink.net} is a 
freelance writer living m Washington, D.C. 



January February 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 7 



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G^i) 



For Rent: Chicago Arthouse 

Windy City filmmakers sign the lease 
for a new artist-run movie theater. 



y Nadine Ekrek 




Shooting a film in your own backyard is 

one thing. Showing it is another. The DIY ethos 
that has inspired countless directors has now 
prompted a group of Chicago filmmakers to 
take the means of exhibition into their own 
hands. Chicago's Sleeping Girl Productions, a 
filmmaker-run nonprofit organization, plans to 
open up an artist-owned movie theater this 
spring. Called IndiePlex, the venue will be 
devoted to four-walling independent films from 
the average Jo(sephine). 

"People are making films just to make films," 
says writer/director Jason Tugman, 26, who is 
executive director of Sleeping Girl. "Why? 
Because they want to do it, and because they 
feel passionate about it. No matter how small 
an audience, there is an audience, whether it's 
mom or dad or whatever [and IndiePlex] is about 



allowing people a facility to show their work." 

Here's how IndiePlex will operate: The film- 
maker will pay a fee (probably around $400, 
although "that's on the high end of it," says 
Tugman) to rent out the theater for a weekend, 
typically for two-and-a-half hours per day. The 
filmmaker will determine the admission price 
and collect the entire box office at the end of 
the run; the house will collect only the rental 
fee and any money made on concessions. 
Feature films are the goal but Tugman and his 
crew are open to allowing two or three film- 
makers to fill up the time slots with shorts, if 
necessary. According to Sleeping Girl's mission 
statement, two-thirds of the films screened will 
be by local filmmakers. 

Sleeping Girl has secured a lease for the the- 
ater space at Damen and Grand Avenues, 



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located just west of downtown Chicago's 
bustling Near North district. Tugman says the 
theater will have a flexible seating arrangement 
to accommodate between 100 and 250 patrons. 
He is funding approximately half of the start-up 
costs himself and expects to get the other half 
from corporate sponsorship. To attract financial 
support, Sleeping Girl has produced a CD- 
ROM entitled Digital Idiots that gives a virtual 
tour of IndiePlex. "It's basically an interactive 
business plan," says Tugman. 

While other bars/film houses in Chicago 
have occasionally screened people's films, they 
have not been "supportive of the filmmaker," 
according to Tugman, but rather "money-mak- 
ing machines" that "took too big a cut from the 
box office." 

"I think [IndiePlex] is a fabulous idea," says 
Liz Owen, one of the founders of 
FilmBureau606, a for-profit organization in 
Chicago dedicated to uniting the city's film- 
making community. "There are a lot of nontra- 
ditional venues to screen independent and 
ultra low-budget films here, but to open up 
something like this for local filmmakers that 
isn't going to cost you an arm and a leg is won- 
derful." FilmBureau606 currently holds quar- 
terly screenings by six filmmakers called 
6films/6buck$, whereby 10% of the box office 
goes to the screening venue donating the space 
and the remaining money is split 50/50 between 
FilmBureau606 and the six filmmakers. 

Tugman's inspiration for IndiePlex comes 
from the theater world; he worked in storefront 
theater in Chicago for the last four years, most- 
ly as a production manager. (His resume 
includes gigs at Chicago's Ivanhoe, Steppen- 
wolf, and Royal George theaters.) "I saw how 
many small, passionate companies were renting 
out spaces to put up their shows and thought 
the same theory could apply to film." 

In addition to being a fully functional movie 
house, IndiePlex will also provide postproduc- 
tion facilities and educational opportunities on 
industry standard, nonlinear systems, such as 
the Media 100 Tugman plans to buy. As he 
explains, "IndiePlex will be a place not only 
where filmmakers can screen their films, but 
where you can come and screen your dailies, 
view rough cuts, and have private investor 
screenings." Indie filmmakers will be allowed to 
book editing time, as well as rent digital and 
16mm camera and lighting packages, at a frac- 
tion of the cost of what other post houses 
charge. Additionally, classes will be taught by 
experts on the latest postproduction software. 

"I think it's a great idea, and I know other 



10 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



organizations would support it," says Ron Ver 
Kuilen, managing director of the Illinois Film 
Office. While Ver Kuilin is supportive of 
IndiePlex, he is a bit skeptical of its nonprofit 
status. "Money that is collected for not-for- 
profits is scrutinized pretty hard by the tax 
man," he says. "It's very difficult to mix for- 
profit enterprises in a not-for-profit zone. I'm 
not exactly sure how they're going to work that, 
but there are ways of doing it. Say they rent out 
$100,000 in post time, for example. They could 
still pay their taxes and have $72,000 left over 
and donate it back into the not-for-profit theater." 
Tugman is confident his similar experiences 
with storefront theater will carry him through. 
"We took a very long, hard look at what we're 
doing, and everything that Sleeping Girl wants 
to do is well within our reach." 
IndiePlex can be reached at (773) 472-0525; 
www.indieplex.org; www.digitalidiots.com 

Nadine Ekrek is a freelance writer based in Chicago. 



SHORT ENDS 



More good news for documentary makers, 
and an indication that the Academy for Motion 
Picture Arts and Sciences is giving more weight 
to the field of nonaction filmmaking. In 
October the Academy announced a change in 
the selection procedures for feature documen- 
taries in an effort to bring more nonfiction 
expertise earlier into the decision-making 
process. A committee of 50 documentarians 
(instead of a committee composed of members 
of all the crafts areas) will now view all Oscar- 
eligible entries and make a semi-finalist list 
of 12. This dozen will then be voted on by all 
local members of the Academy at screenings in 
NY, LA and SF to select the five finalists. For 
more details, see www.oscars.org 

— Paul Power 



ERRATA 



In the Profiles section of the November 

issue, Steve Lawrence was wrongly identified as 
coordinating producer for the Vis a Vis series. 
He is the series producer as well as one of the 
directors of the programs. In addition, it was 
wrongly reported that PBS has commissioned 
six new programs for 2000/2001 when this is 
not the case. CPB has given a grant in support 
of two new programs and the rest are in devel- 
opment. Also in November's issue, we incor- 
rectly identified the late Sonny Bono as a sena- 
tor. Bono in fact was a member of Congress 
from Southern California's 44th district. 
The Independent apologizes for these emus. 



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While cable is expanding niche markets for 
innovative fare on television, it's still following 
the old broadcast model: programming flows 
outward from a single source to multiple view- 
ers during fixed time slots. Meanwhile on the 
web, the Internet's random access structure 
has changed that equation. Viewers are no 
longer locked into a set broadcast time and 
duration. Surfing the web for film content is 
more like browsing at a video store, and pick- 
ing a file to stream or download is like popping 
that video into the home VCR. The viewer ini- 
tiates and controls the order, length, and dura- 
tion of the viewing experience. All of this 
makes the net one huge Blockbuster Video 
store — without the censorship and florescent 
lighting. 

However, the Internet is much more than 
that, in both positive and negative ways. On 
the plus side, it is so open, so limitless, and so 
potentially cost-effective as a means of distrib- 
ution that the current distribution bottleneck 



independents face should go by the wayside in 
the next five years. On the down side, the Net 
is so open, so limitless, and so resistant to orga- 
nization that the burden will shift to audiences' 
shoulders as they struggle to slog through all 
the available content. 

Just how film and video is distributed and 
seen on the web is evolving at a daily pace. 
Today there are a number of different models, 
both like and unlike the Blockbuster template. 
The short survey that follows ignores the large - 
budget corporate ventures that are grabbing 
headlines, such as www.broadcast.com, 
www.livetv.com, and www.den.com [see "Move 
over NBC, Heeere's DEN," in the June 1999 
Independent]. Instead, we'll focus on four small- 
er ventures that are either actively seeking con- 
tent from independents, producing it them- 
selves, or linking mediamakers with potential 
audiences. 

This type of venture is so new that business 
research/consulting firms like Arthur Ander- 



sen, Organic Online, and Forresters admit 
there is not enough empirical evidence to do 
any sort of quantitative study of current oppor- 
tunities. That said, these specific examples 
demonstrate the ways in which this new medi- 
um is organizing itself. Some sites are commis- 
sioning or programming work created specifi- 
cally for the web; some look for existing work, 
offering it a new home; still 
others act only as a nexus. The 
following four entities were 
selected not only because of 
the quality of their products, 
but also because of the intelli- 
gence, focus, and clarity of the 
people and plans behind them. 

The Superstore 

www.undergroundfilm.com 

Former Entertainment Weekly 
writer Adrian Glover and part- 
ners have opened a site dedi- 
cated solely to our favorite 
niche, independent film. 
Undergroundfilm.com admin- 
isters one of the best-looking, 
most intelligently laid out Beta 
test sites anywhere. In 
October, this coverage expand- 
ed to a 65 -screen site dedicat- 
ed to covering every single 
facet of making films outside 
the studio system. 

This commercial site propos- 
es to be the most inclusive 
thing out there. Sections include: screenplays; 
financing; profiles of established, up and com- 
ing, and wannabe independents; gossip about 
everything; crew lists; and, of course, down- 
loadable shorts and even feature-length films. 
There will be discussion groups for every movie 
available on the site, and viewer comments can 
be automatically forwarded to the filmmaker's 
email. UGF also provides the option of self-dis- 
tribution from the site, offering a 25/75 split 
with the filmmaker for all VHS cassettes sales, 
with nonexclusive rights. 

In terms of content, UGF considers itself to 
be an open forum with limits. There are no 
constraints on file size or length as long as the 
work remains near the commercially acceptable 
span of a feature or less. There is an erotica sec- 
tion, but they will not accept pornography. 
There is a documentary section, but they will 
not accept any investigative journalism (due to 
unresolved legal questions about libel and the 
Internet). [For other sites following this acqusi- 



12 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



tion model, see "The Point of No Return," in 
the Aug/Sept. 99 Independent.] 

The Niche Series 

contact newcaspict@aol.com 

Coming from a background in reality-based 
television, including American Bounty Hunter, 
NewCastle Picture's Scott Paterra views web- 
casting with a very pragmatic eye. His 
approach: focus on giving people what they'll 
pay to see. Paterra is preparing to launch a Beta 
test site of series-on-demand in early 2000 with 
a burst of episodic programming that's aimed at 
Gen X and Gen Y viewers. Currently in the 
works are several series celebrating the adrena- 
line-fueled joy of extreme sports. 

While they will produce some content them- 
selves, the company primarily sees itself as a 
compiler of series created by outside producers. 
Geared toward various niche markets, this pro- 
gramming will ideally be so specific that it 
appears to be made by members of that com- 
munity or sub-culture. The strength of this 
venue is that it will provide something that 
cannot be found on existing networks due to 
economies of scale. 

To that end, NewCastle is looking for con- 
tent that can be presented in 2-5 minute 
episodes which can be serialized around a com- 
mon theme or topic. Currently they want to see 



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completed work rather than be pitched con- 
cepts. These works can combine text, anima- 
tion, audio, and live-action video or emphasize 



any one of those elements. The key to the sale 
is that the work has to hold its own in the short 
episodic format. Like everyone interviewed, 
Paterra understands that the integration of 
some form of interactivity is what will differen- 
tiate one site from another, but NewCastle is 
most interested in having new ideas about 
interactivity developed by its independent con- 
tractor content providers. In other words, 
they're looking to you, kid — come up with 
something compelling that breaks down into 
discrete chunks, and you might well make a 
deal. 

Yet despite being slated as a for-profit ven- 
ture, Paterra readily admits that nobody 
(including him) knows how to make money 
from the content of a web site. NewCastle is 
currently considering an intelligent PIN system 
that will store a credit or debit card number 
registered to your computer, and then bill your 
credit card when you click on a preview win- 
dow to download or stream a program. But the 
model is still under review, as is the structure 
for paying media artists. For now, Paterra plans 
to work that out on a case-by-case basis. 

The Art Video Gallery 

www.newvenue.com 

With time spent as an office PA for Woody 
Allen and as a commercial web designer, 
newvenue's Jason 
Wishnow has 
both a quirky 
sense of humor 
and some definite 
ideas about how 
to present video 
content on the 
web. Newvenue 
presents only 
work originated 
for the web; it 
does not show 
repurposed con- 
tent intended for 
television or cin- 
ema. Some of its 
best content was 
commissioned 
specifically for 
the site — for exam- 
ple, Shenly Glen's 
Momma Triptych. 
Wishnow 
encourages filmmakers to use the limitations of 
the web and think of them as new genre con- 
straints; this will help them make programs that 



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really work when presented in this new medi- 
um — which has as many quirks as film and 
video. 

The site has an excellent technical section 
devoted to digital filmmaking for webcast, 
which covers the basics of compression, frame 
rates, and software tools. The respect for this 
new craft and comfort level with its tools are 
obvious from the creative choices made in some 
of the pieces found on Newvenue. Some very 
subtle and striking stuff is at work here — using 
Quicktime and MM Flash within the same 
movie to get two different looks, slight changes 
in conventional camera work to make that tiny 
frame work to your advantage, and multiple 
screens to present different points of view. 

As the site is currently supported through 
grants and Wishnow's own largesse, Newvenue 
offers exposure but not compensation. Set up as 
a nonprofit to display the best motion content 
for the web, Wishnow hopes eventually to 
attract corporate sponsorship. With that in 
place, he'd like to begin awarding prize money 
and continuing to commission work, but for 
now his goal is to provide filmmakers with an 
audience. 

The Vegetal Model 

www.rhizome.org 

With a name taken from botany filtered 
through contemporary French critical theory, 
Rhizome is the sole entry in this survey that 
isn't trying to resemble a manmade thing. Like 
the horizontal root that gives Rhizome its 
name, the site lacks a center. Instead it exists as 
a many-to-many communications web, where 
the most interesting and interested members of 
the community drive the discussion threads. 

Though it's been around the longest (found- 
ed in 1996), Rhizome hasn't developed into an 
on-line gallery or a host site. Instead it remains 
a simple email listserve and a stunning linking 
graphic interface whose subscribers direct fel- 
low readers to new web-based work they've set 
up on servers elsewhere. 

There is as much good thinking and writing 
on Rhizome as there are links to good web art. 
Currently 3,000 email subscribers to the week- 
ly Rhizome digest bump heads and connect to 
interesting web-based art, including but not 
limited to video and motion graphics. Which 
just goes to show that the best things on the 
web aren't necessarily created with the biggest 
budgets. That's something that should sound 
familiar to independent filmmakers. 

Rob Rownd is a contributing editor 
of The Independent. 



14 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



Site Seeing 



by Lisa Vasta 



www.Directorunknown.com 

DlRECTORUNKNOWN.COM IS A NEW FILM EXPER1- 
ment run by six Los Angeles-based filmmakers 
who last year decided to create a 12-episode 
Movie of the Web. Each person directed two 



<? 



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episodes using the 

other five colleagues to 

act as crew. They met 

once a month to film, 

edit, and put the 

episodes online, each of which was between 

three and seven minutes long. 

This time around the process stays the same, 
but the concept has changed. Gone is the mini- 
series; this is the year of the short film. Each 
monthly short will be self sufficent, but united 
by theme. So stay tuned for a half dozen elabo- 
rations on "Cash Withdrawal." 

www.scriptseeker.com 

At first glance, scriptseeker.com appears 
to be a comprehensive catalog of new scripts 
available to any registered member of the site. 
But look closer, and you'll see it's more. The site 
is also a great reference for anyone interested in 
screenwriting or playwriting. For writers wanti- 
ng to getting their work out, the site charges 
$10 a month to exhibit scripts for one year. If 
sold, the writer receives every penny of the sale. 
There's also a Call for Entries board listing con- 
tests hosted by production companies looking 



for new material. For $99.95 ($79.95 if regis- 
tered) you can also hand over your script for 
in-depth analysis. 

Among the site's notable resources are 
Script Tips, which offers help in dialogue and 
plot construction, and interviews with writers 
in the business. The site also has links to 
other companies that are seeking new scripts. 

www.directorsnet.com 

Directorsnet.com is mainly a links site. 

All members have web sites of their own 
which are linked to the main page. Here you'll 
find varied information on new filmmakers, as 
well as the skinny on more established direc- 
tors. If you're a member you can access the 
site's employment listings and bulletin boards. 
The site also has a well- stocked festivals listing 
section. 

The industry links page, however, is the 
one that filmmakers will be most interested in. 
The Film Archives 
& Directories links 
include, among 
other sites, 

FaTCaT, a recently 
launched Internet 
directory promot- 
ing British Film and 
Television Craft 
and Technology, 
and a Soundtrack 
Database. TV & 
Cable lists every- 
thing from new and 
classic film channels, to news and music net- 
works, to miscellaneous material such as 
sports and weather, and also includes links to 
foreign networks. The Producers & 
Distributors links also run the gamut, from TV 
outlets, such as Bravo and King World, to 
major independents like Miramax and Sony 
Picture Classics, to low-budget outfits like 
Troma. Miscellaneous links include many 
state film offices, casting companies, and tech 
supply sites — in short, all the preliminary info 
a filmmaker needs to help get a project off the 
ground. 

Lisa Vasta is an editorial intern at The Independent 
and a freelance writer. 



WWW.AIVF.ORG 

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ECLECTIC CO. 

The Montreal Festival of New Cinema 

by Jerry White 



1999 REPRESENTED SOMETHING OF A REBIRTH 
FOR Montreal's Festival International du 
Nouveau Cinema et Nouveax Medias. After 
years of financial and organizational difficulties, 
the festival has moved into the huge new media 
complex now known as Ex-Centris, located in 
the heart of Montreal's chic nightlife district. 



world, and short films and 
videos that range from the 
straightforwardly narrative to 
the opaquely experimenta 
The festival is, in short, open to 
an extremely wide variety of 
moving image art, anc 





This architecturally ambitious building is the 
product of a collaboration between local soft- 
ware tycoon Daniel Langlois and Claude 
Chamberlain, the festival's director, co- 
founder, and director of the arthouse known as 
the Parallele. This multi-million dollar facility 
is intended to support research and develop- 
ment of new media projects, in addition to pro- 
moting international "auteur" cinema, inde- 
pendent and avant-garde film, and new work 
from Canada and Quebec, [see the March 1999 
Independent] 

This is not a bad summary of the festival 
itself, a unique event that is too little known in 
American independent circles. Chamberlain 
and his associates Luc Bourdon (shorts pro- 
grammer) and Alain Mongeau (new media pro- 
grammer) create a line-up for their October 
event that combines the worlds of cybernetic 
experimentation, feature films from all over the 



Pedro Almodovar's All About My 
Mother was one of the bigger guns 
at Montreal this year. 



Chamberlain is 

passionate about 

breaking down the conventional barriers that 
divide various schools. It's difficult to imagine a 
festival where Canadian Atom Egoyan would 
take part in an informal public discussion with 
the Armenian experimental filmmaker 
Artavazd Pelechian, who received a tribute this 
year for the dense, intensely lyrical shorts he 
began making in Eastern Europe's repressive 
1960s. The two talked about documentary 
form, homeland/diaspora relations, and how 
cultural self-knowledge manifests itself cine- 
matically. The friendly mixing of such disparate 
visions is something of a festival specialty. 

Among the heavy hitters of world cinema on 
view were Abbas Kiarostami (The Wind Will 
Carry Us), Steven Soderbergh (The Limey), Jim 
Jarmusch (Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai), 
and Pedro Almodovar (AH About My Mother). 



Also on display 
were works less 
likely to find 
North Amer- 
ican distribution, such as 
Alexandr Sokurov's creepy, 
masterful Moloch, Jean- 
Marie Straub and Daniele 
Huillet's Sicilia'., and Hou 
Hsiao -hsien's Flowers of 
Shanghai. Rounding out this 
feature program was a selec- 
tion of first films and work 
by lesser-knowns that you'd 
be unlikely to see elsewhere. 
Voyages, by Emmanuel 
Finkiel, joined three stories 
of the Yiddish-speaking 
Jewish diaspora with careful- 
ly composed, brooding visuals. Finkiel's film is 
about the deep fragmentation that marks the 
contemporary Jewish experience and is espe- 
cially notable for a sequence in Israel that 
refuses to indulge in any romanticism about 
such fragmentation ever being resolved. 
Flemish filmmaker Patrice Toye brought her 
first film, Rosie, a harsh tale of a troubled young 
girl who, along with her mother and "uncle," is 
about to slip through the cracks of Belgian soci- 
ety. This was a simple story, straightforwardly 
told, eschewing the feel of faux-documentary 
naturalism that plagues a great deal of 
American independent work. Much the same 
could be said for an exceptional 
American independent feature called 
Sue, by Amos Kollek. The festival jury 
decided to give a special award to Anna 
Thomson for her moving performance in 
this drama about a woman slipping deep- 
er and deeper into urban alienation. 
Equally important to the proceedings were 
the short films and videos, which were, like the 
features, created by a combination of the 
unknown and the renowned. The Artavazd 
Pelechian tribute was certainly the highlight, 
although there was a great deal of high-quality 
short work shot on a variety of formats (literal- 
ly everything from 1/2" to digital video to 
35mm). Acclaimed experimentalist Matthias 
Mueller sent his new short Vacancy, a found- 
footage portrait of Brasilia drenched in bright 
colors. American videomaker William E. Jones 
also drew on found footage; his 20-minute 
video The Fall of Communism as Seen in Gay 
Pornography was an eerie, haunting document 
of how even the production of porn has moved 
to places where the workforce is cheaper and 



16 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



more desperate, Eastern Europe in this case. 
Jem Cohen's new film Amber City was also on 
display, a dreamy, lush portrait of a Europe in 
transition. It played on the same program as two 
episodes of a Brazilian series called Travelling 
Along the Border. Formally very different from 
Cohen's more aestheticized vision, these also 
dealt with issues surrounding modernity and the 
ambiguities of national culture. The Loup 
Argent award, given for Best Short Film, went 
to the late Senegalese master Djibril Diop 
Mambety's last film, La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil. 

The program most clearly of interest to inde- 
pendent filmmakers was a pitch workshop, 
sponsored by the Quebec funding agency 
Societe de Developement des Enterprises 
Culturelles (SODEC) as part of its celebration 
of the 10th anniversary of their program to aid 
young filmmakers. It featured a series of frantic 
pitches in both French and English for short 
films, which were critiqued by some of the big- 
wigs in Canadian independent film. Short film 
programmers from both the French and English 
departments of the Canadian Broadcast 
Company (CBC) took part, although embar- 
rassingly, Tara Fitzgerald, the English-language 
CBC representative, was the only person on 
stage who couldn't speak both of Canada's offi- 
cial languages. This led to a quick scramble for 
a translator when it was made clear to her that 
she could not reasonably expect to take part in 
a panel in Montreal speaking and understand- 
ing only English. Judy Gladstone, who runs 
Bravo's highly successful' FACT program, 
which provides production funding for a wide 
variety of shorts, also took part. The proposals 
were mostly for overly-ambitious narrative 
films, and the panelists, while always tactful, 
often found themselves trying to impress upon 
the prospective short filmmakers the limita- 
tions of the form. Despite these predictable 
shortcomings, the event offered a fascinating 
peek into the nuts and bolts of Quebec's much- 
praised cinematic infrastructure. 

Montreal's Festival of New Cinema and 
New Media, then, is a real crossroads that 
makes the most of Quebec's artistic vitality. 
There's no festival quite like it; video and com- 
puter experiments, Peter Greenaway and 
unknown U.S. independents, first-time Flemish 
filmmakers and recently departed African mas- 
ters all come together in a context that con- 
stantly draws attention to the ways they are 
related. For independents of any stripe, the 
Festival of New Cinema deserves a close look. 

Jerry White is a doctoral student in Comparative 

Literature at the University of Alberta, 

where he also teaches Film Studies. 




The 5th Annual 

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FILM ENTRY DEADLINE FEBRUARY 1. 2000 



OR INFORMATION & 
_CE|VE ENTRY MATERIALS 

Ann Arbor Film Festival PO Box 8232 
Ann Arbor, Ml 48107 USA J: : 
: ;j>hone 734995.53SS fax 734.995.5396 \- : 
yieki@honeyman,org ,httpr//aaf ilmfest.org ■:. 



Suddenly everybody is exuberantly cele- 
brating the short film format, but Rachel 
Tsangari and Bryan Poyser were doing it sever- 
al years before it was cool when they founded 
Cinematexas. Based in Austin at the University 
of Texas, the five-day festival, held 
in September, quickly established itself as an 
excellent venue for some of the best shorts 
around, mainly because Tsangari, Poyser, and 
co -programmer Jen Proctor are adamantly dis- 
interested in the mundane calling- card narra- 
tive or parody shorts; they prefer work that 
really pushes the boundaries. You know you're 
going to find not one but several gems here. 

And this was certainly the case this year. 
While the festival itself was plagued by numer- 
ous inexplicably horrible projection gaffes, 
there were several outstanding shorts making 
their premieres. The highlight has to be audi- 
ence and jury favorite Outerspace, Peter 
Tscherkassky's extraordinary demolition of a 
piece of footage from a horror film. While 
Tscherkassky's overall project is similar to that 
of filmmaker Martin Arnold in that he seems to 
deconstruct a scene by rocking back and forth 
through it frame by frame, Tscherkassky's 
intent is not to analyze the implications of 
minute gestures but rather to study cinema as 
an apparatus. Where Arnold moves inward and 
uncovers things, Tscherkassky pulls backwards; 
this happens literally in the film as the camera 
retreats through a window and back far enough 
to show the edges of the frame before its ecsta- 
tic explosion, which demolishes not only the 
image, but a genre and cinema itself. It's the 
best film I've seen in a long time — and that's 
what Cinematexas is about! 

Other favorites include Jem Cohen's Amber 
City, a meditative study of a city in Italy. With 
its delicately somber tones and meandering 
pace, the film not only underscores Cohen's 



complete self-assurance as a filmmaker who 
knows his art, but it reminds us that fast, cheap, 
and out of control are not the only components 
for a contemporary aesthetic. 

While these projects resonate very deeply, 
there were several films that were just damn 
quirky. Deborah Strutt's My Cunt fits here — it's 
an odd yet amusing discussion of the proper 
role of the cunt — as does the wonderfully per- 
verse animation by Jim Trainor titled The Bats, 
which details the pragmatic life cycle of these 
elaborately sexual flying creatures. Drawn with 
black felt-tip marker on paper, the film would 
be quite striking just in terms of its stark, sinu- 
ous aesthetic; however, the incredibly weird 
and yet perfect voiceover flips the film upward 
into a realm all its own. (Given that one of the 
tourist events in Austin is going to a bridge 
spanning the Colorado River at sunset to watch 
the millions of bats, the film had an appropriate 
home in this city.) 

The other great thing about Cinematexas is 
the easy melding of pleasures. There's always 
good company — participating filmmakers seen 
around town (and at every party) included 
Cauleen Smith, Jay Rosenblatt, and Michael 
Snow — many parties, and an array of sumptu- 
ous activities, not the least of which is swim- 
ming at Barton Springs, where the brisk, clear 
water rejuvenates the most exhausted filmgoer. 

But all of that may change. At a tearful clos- 
ing night ceremony, Tsangari, Poyser, and 
Proctor explained that they're moving on to 
other projects, which seems to leave 
Cinematexas in limbo. Given that so much of 
the festival came out of their collective love for 
film and an intuitively genius programming 
sensibility, it's difficult to imagine Cinematexas 
without them. 

Holly Willis is senior editor at IFILM [wwic.ifilm.net] 

and a freelance writer covering independent film, 

video, and new media. 



18 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



GRIST FOR 
THE MILL 

All media forms flourish at 
the Mill Valley Film Festival 

by Brendan 
Peterson 



It was a warm October night. The sun- 

drenched streets of majestic Mill Valley, 
California, were filled with more beautiful peo- 
ple than usual. Women in silky gowns and men 
in slick black suits overflowed the sidewalks, 
sipping Chardonnay and checking each other 
out. Soon this chic, chatty crowd would be sit- 
ting quietly in the dark at one of the Mill Valley 
Film Festival's opening night flicks. 

Running October 7-17, the 22nd annual 
Mill Valley Film Festival covered a lot of 
ground. From the country roads of Iran to the 
city streets of San Francisco, Mill Valley's 
multi-colored mixture of American indepen- 
dent and world cinema represented a clear con- 
temporary snapshot of films that, in most cases, 
won't play at the local multiplex. And unlike 
other high-profile festivals, Mill Valley shuns 
programming themes, festival awards, and bid- 
ding wars. 

"Mill Valley is very much a filmmakers' festi- 
val," says festival programmer Zoe Elton. "Its 
intimate ambiance makes it a place where pro- 
fessional connections thrive without outside 
pressures. This year we instigated the Official 
Premieres Selection, which gave more promi- 
nence to feature premieres. We've found that 
Mill Valley is often the fall festival of choice as 
a launching pad for both American and inter- 
national independents, so, as a noncompetitive 
festival, we're using this as a way to increase the 
profile of premieres at the festival." 

Director Ang Lee unveiled his latest on 
opening night, the bloody, engaging Civil War 
epic Ride with the Devil, at the newly renovated 
Sequoia Twin Theater in downtown Mill Valley. 
Afterwards the well-scrubbed crowd 
schmoozed at a gala party with other opening 
night festival-goers who had seen either 
Patricia Rozema's Jane Austen adaptation 
Mansfield Park, or Sydney Pollack's latest, 
Random Hearts. Luckily, anti-social film lovers 
had plenty of other opportunities to see movies 



and avoid the glitz and glamour. Over its 10- 
day span, the festival screened 220 films and 
videos for almost 40,000 people. 

Although Mill Valley regulars tend to turn 
out for the festival's prime selection of interna- 
tional films, this year many of the most accessi- 
ble and independently minded films came from 
just across the Golden Gate Bridge. The streets 
and studio apartments of San Francisco's 
Castro District come alive in Nick Katsapetses' 
engagingly honest gabfest, The Joys of Smoking. 
Shot with low-budget inventiveness, this hip, 
amusing take on contemporary love combines 
first-person confessionals with vivid vignettes 
to capture a documentary-like perspective on 
the everyday drama of relationships. 
Director/writer/editor Christopher Brown's nar- 
rative feature Metal is a stunning black-and- 
white film about an unemployed mechanic's 
struggles to make ends meet for his wife and 
children. Shot entirely on location in San 
Francisco's Hunter's Point district, Metal cap- 
tures the raw rhythms and realities of this area 
in a personal and poetic way. 

In addition to a healthy selection of film, the 
festival includes a NewMedia/Videofest sidebar. 
"The Videofest serves as a sort of thermometer 
for changes in media technology," says Elton. 
"It's never quite the same from one year to the 
next. We've always used this as a place to 
explore both the fine-art end of video and new 



media, as well as being the place where the 
intersections of film and video are examined." 

Although cinema connoisseurs might not 
consider Keith Broder's video documentary Sex 
Death and Eyeliner fine art, it sure is fun. This 
fascinating work delves underground into a 
world of gothic sub-culture. Interviews with a 
colorful assortment of men and women exposes 
the personal stories behind this community of 
societal "outcasts" whose passion for everything 
from body piercing to blood play has brought 
them together. 

Another Videofest highlight was a screening 
and discussion of the short-lived Comedy 
Central sitcom Frank Leaves for the Orient. 
After showing a few episodes, director John 
Sanborn and writer Michael Kaplan candidly 
related their experience with network execu- 
tives whose constant suggestions included 
everything from dramatic dialogue re -writes to 
the shaving of a character's facial hair. The 
show's laugh-out-loud combination of live 
action comedy and cutting-edge animation, 
which included anywhere from 30-60 visual 
effects per episode created on Sanborn's desk- 
top computer, clearly represented the techno- 
logical potential of television today. 

In addition to celebrating contemporary 
achievements in media technology, the 
Videofest honored the late comedian Ernie 
Kovac, a pioneer in the field of real time inter- 




January February 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 19 




crossroads film festival 
april 6-9, 2000 



enter at your own risk 

po box 22604 jackson, ms 39225 
crossroadsfilmfest.com 



a 


sRfl 


thir^ 


ad^r^b^WK^V ^K^VK^m^? 




J|mentary 






April 6-9,2000 


Durham, North Carolina 


Call for Entries 


Deadline 


> 


December 28, 1999 




Late Deadline 
January 7, 2000 


ZJ 
CU 

cu 


For information and entry forms, 

contact the Festival at 

91 9.660.3.699 or ddff@duke.edu 


n 

TO 

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Sbmitto^ 1 



The 2nd annual 4»V 
Chicago Underground 
film fund 

Cash grants of $500-$2000 awarded 

for completion of films that 
push the boundaries, 
defy expectations and 

transcend the mainstream 
of independent filmmaking. 
ALL genres and formats eligible! 
DEADLINE : FEBRUARY 1, 2000 

For fund applications or 
Chicago underground film festival 
entry forms |^ 

773.327.FILM "|C 

info@cuff.org 
http://www.cuff.org 

photo credit: Swinger's Serenade by Danny Plotnick, 
a 1999 Chicago Underground Film Fund recipient. 
©Danny Plotnick. 



\. 



PP 



active television. Kovac's wife and creative 
partner, Edie Adams, spoke to the sold out 
auditorium and presented a sampling of video 
clips highlighting the scope of Kovac's progres- 
sive work. 

The festival's New Media section, represent- 
ed by five Macintosh computers in a window- 
less room, was less inspiring. However, despite 
the New Media's basement-apartment am- 
biance, a few of the featured installations 
proved engaging. Paula Levine presented a 
web-based word game, Blotto, based on a popu- 
lar 19th century parlor game. Takahiko Iamu- 
ra's Observer/ Observed is an interactive explo- 
ration of the camera eye's relationship to the 
human eye. Most impressive was the late 
Christine Tamblyn's Archival Quality, a deeply 
personal and innovative CD-ROM that high- 
lights her work as a performer and video artist 
and illustrates the potentially powerful connec- 
tion that can exist between technology and the 
human spirit. 

For those craving more human contact, the 
Mill Valley's seminar series connected folks 
with similar interests. In fact, Mill Valley's new 
mentor program offered people attending the 
festival's seminars a chance to discuss a project 
they are working on in a one-on-one meeting 
with a festival guest. 

This year's seminar topics ranged from "Film 
and Spirituality" to "Scripting for the Digital 
Age." Droves of independent film aficionados 
turned out for "Strategies for Indies from 
Festivals to Marketing." The well-chosen panel 
of distributors, publicists, and filmmakers 
offered practical advice to the crowd. "The 
most important advice I can give you is to 
include good quality photos in your press kit," 
said Gary Meyer, a consultant and former 
exhibitor for Landmark theaters. Panelist Udy 
Epstein a filmmaker/distributor with Seventh 
Arts Releasing, warned the wide-eyed audience 
to be realistic. "It's important to remember that 
only two percent of the independent films pro- 
duced in any given year get distribution." In 
addition, the panelists agreed that filmmakers 
should "put together their own marketing plan 
ahead of time to make the job easier for distrib- 
utors and publicists." After a formal Q&A ses- 
sion, the eager audience stormed the stage for 
some up-close and personal time. 

While not as glamorous as Cannes or as pow- 
erful as Sundance, the 1999 Mill Valley Film 
Festival was an easy going, straightforward affair 
brimming with artistic inspiration, practical 
insight, and more than a handful of cool flicks. 

Brendan Peterson is a freelance critic and writer who 
lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. 



20 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



/ ; ■■■■■■■■■* 



LONDON CALLING 

Limey hospitality at the Raindance Film Festival. 



y Holly Hudson-Groves 



From Soho in London's West End, the 
Raindance Film Festival kicked off its seventh 
and largest edition yet. Helmed by Canadian 
ex-patriot Eliot Grove, the festival anted up an 
ambitious slate of 73 features and 223 shorts 
from October 8 to 21. 

"In 1993 there were only nine British feature 
films made [in the UK] . I decided that a lot of 
people would make movies if they had a place 
to show them, so I started Raindance," says 
Grove. One can feel the effects of Britain's film 
boom; this year approximately half the line-up 
hailed from the UK. 

Early on Grove 
dubbed this event "The 
Raindance Film Show- 
case and Market," but 
later simplified the 
name. He shrugged off 
initial protests from the 

Sundance Film Festival and claims he chose the 
name because of "the dance people have to do 
to get their film made." But even though it's no 
longer officially called a market, Grove stresses 
that in actuality it is a "hybrid — a market for 
the industry, screenings for the public." 
Scheduled to coincide with London Screenings 
and one week before MIFED, Raindance aims 
to catch the run- off of buyers attending these 
major film markets. Judging from last year's fes- 
tival, the plan seems to be working. "Of the 43 
features screened, 23 secured distribution 
deals," according to Grove. "You'll see just 
about every international acquisitions execu- 
tive here that you'd hope to see at Cannes or 
IFFM." 

In addition to the home-grown product, this 
year's line-up included pics from Denmark, 
Australia, Greenland, and the United States, as 
well as sections devoted to new films from 
Yugoslavia and South Africa. The Blair Witch 
Project opened the festival with its British pre- 
miere and cast a tall shadow over the ensuing 
selections. Nevertheless, there were a few other 
stand-outs. Rupert's Land (Jonathan Tammuz, 
Canada) traced the reunion of two half broth- 
ers, one a British attorney and the other an out- 
of-work British Colombia fisherman, as they set 



out on a road trip to 
their maligned father's 
funeral. Another was 
Karnaval, the debut fea- 
ture of French director 
Thomas Vincent. Set 
and filmed in the midst 
of Dunkirk's carnival, 
which is a colorful orgy 
of nightly drunkenness, 
the story involves a love 
triangle that examines 




"Of the 43 features screened, 23 secured 

distribution deals," claims Grove. 

"You'll see just about every international 

acquisitions executive here that you'd 

hope to see at Cannes or IFFM." 



questions of betrayal and responsibility. 

Grove likes to showcase shorts, calling them 
"a laboratory of cinema," and says that buyers 
attending the festival watch them to assess 
their viability for airlines or British TV. While 
being screened is a blessing to any filmmaker, 
being seen is a necessary component of the 
equation — and one Raindance had trouble ful- 
filling. Many of the daily shorts programs were 
under-attended (in fact, even the features 
rarely boasted full houses). Perhaps a greater 
service could have been done by screening 
selected shorts before the features. 

With legions of shorts to choose from, gems 
were easily found. These included PI (Seth 
Wiley, U.S.), in which a man is seduced by the 
female voice of the anti-theft system of a car he 
is stealing; Snarl (David White, UK), a surreal 
nightmare of a man caught in a traffic jam; and 
Los Taxios (Lars Damoiseaux, Belgium), in 
which out-of-towners seeking a tour of Brussels 
become captive of a manic cab driver intent on 
showing them the "real" city. 

In between screenings Raindance sponsored 
the usual array of seminars geared toward mak- 
ing an independent filmmaker out of Jane the 
Civil Servant. A seminar on "Pitching for the 
Absolute and Utter Beginner," led by Grove 



himself, was entertaining, but offered some 
dubious advice on how to behave during a 
meeting with a potential buyer. Grove stressed 
the importance of flattery and encouraged 
hopeful deal-makers to find out and use per- 
sonal information about buyers, including 
"their children's birthdays, if possible." 

This year marked the festival's first two- 
week run, and the growth spurt had its down- 
side, as organization was sorely lacking. Some 
invited producers traveled from Italy only to 
find their film was not listed in the program nor 
was it screening. Conversely, a filmmaker from 
the U.S. found out after the fact that her film 
was shown by the festival. There was a general 
lack of cohesion to the festivities, the result, in 
part, of the absence of identifying name tags or 
any way of separating filmmakers from the gen- 
eral public. 

Despite an atmosphere that at times felt 
more like a hipster gallery opening than a festi- 
val, Raindance tried hard. With big ambitions 
and little funding, Grove has managed to put 
the festival on the map. He was grateful for 
Channel 4's contribution of a slew of 
"Raindance Brollys" (umbrellas) emblazoned 
with logos, which staffers handed out to buyers 
at the nearby hotels. One can only hope that 
Grove's tireless enthusiasm will iron out the 
wrinkles next year, and that he'll remember 
quality speaks louder than quantity. 

Holly Hudson-Groves [hudsongroves@yahoo.con\] is a 

freelance writer I m New York 

currently living m London. 



January February -WY THE INDEPENDENT 21 



£ 



r-t/Slt-.J'-: 



S3) 



Your Best Foot Forward 

Lions Gate's Mark Urman talks about 
marketing your film to the industry. 

by Lynn M. Ermann 




Face it, it's a buyer's market. Gone are the 
days — if they every truly existed — of movie 
execs frantically bidding on your film. 
Distributors can now go to a major festival like 
Sundance and pick and choose from a glut of 
fine features. Plus, the competition is becom- 
ing more savvy. Every other filmmaker seems 
to have impressive posters, 'connected' publi- 
cists, and 'buzz.' How then can you possibly 
make your film stand out? What's the best way 
to utilize a festival to market your film to 
acquisition reps still bleary- eyed from watching 
the last five? 

Mark Urman, a former indie publicist, now 
heads up the distribution division at Lions 
Gate Releasing, whose recent releases include 
Dogma, The Red Violin, Buffalo 66, The Pillow 
Book, and Gods and Monsters. A festival veter- 
an, Urman has the experience of both hustling 
and acquiring films and has some perspective 
on these questions. He recently shared his 



insights at an Independent Feature Film 
Market panel of marketing and in a fol- 
low-up interview with The Independent. 

There are some 300 film festivals in the 
United States alone. How important are these 
to distributors? 

They're very important for us; we build 
our lives around the film festival calen- 
dar. But some festivals are more impor- 
tant than others from an acquisition 
standpoint. Those are primarily — in no 
order of importance — Toronto, because 
they show so many films; Sundance, 
which is heavier on the American inde- 
pendents; and Cannes, which is more 
international and less American. Since 
Cannes also has a market attached, 
there's a very high incidence of all sorts 
of potentially interesting titles that 
aren't part of the festival but which are 



"The history books are littered 

with cases of films that did not 

land distribution because they 

were overpriced. It's never about 

what a movie cost, it's only about 

what a movie can make." 



being shown for the first time there. 

The majority of film festivals are not so 
much acquisitions opportunities as they are 
presentation possibilities. A lot of regional fes- 
tivals are better for films that already have dis- 
tribution and are making their way into the- 
aters; they afford an opportunity for word-of- 
mouth and for working press in a particular 
market, but they're not so much places you 
would set up shop and bring in a lot of staff. 

Going to film festivals is a very expensive 
thing — housing a staff, buying all the passes and 
tickets, the airfare, the food; it can cost a com- 



pany thousands and thousands of dollars. You 
have to consider that most of those companies 
really can only distribute 15 films a year maxi- 
mum, and we go into every festival with enough 
line-up to last us several months. So you don't 
want to pick up films you can't do well by, and 
you don't want to overcrowd your slate or 
acquire products that compete with products 
you already have. So you need to pace yourself 
and pick your opportunities well. 

How should filmmakers approach distributors? 

We're most comfortable being approached by 
filmmakers who have actually researched 
things and indicated they know who we are, 
what our taste is, how we operate, what our 
lineup has been of late, what it is currently, and 
what the future holds for us. A well-informed 
approach is one that's apt to go over better 
than just some form letter. We frequently get 
mail and faxes before film festivals or markets 
from people who are proposing things that are 
just not Lions Gate Films. A lot of those letters 
go right into the garbage. 

What's the best way to get a distributor's attention 
during a festival? Should filmmakers bring some sort 
of marketing ideas at this stage? 

Filmmakers don't have to do very much to get 
our attention. If the film is programmed in a 
festival we're covering, we're probably going to 
check it out one way or another. 

I find that sometimes film- 
makers spend way too much 
time trying to do a distributor's 
job for them, before they even 
have a distributor. What we 
look for when we go to a festival 
or market and flirt with the pos- 
sibility of acquiring a film is a 
model. If you have some cast 
with you or the director accom- 
panies the film, or if you have a 
publicist attached to the film 
who advances those people's 
agendas, gets them interviews, gets you some 
sort of exposure — we sit there and say, Ah! 
This is somebody who the media is interested 
in.' So I think it's the filmmaker's responsibil- 
ity to, at least at the preliminary stage, create 
that sort of model for a distributor: 'Here we 
are; we look good, we have an interesting 
story to tell.' We observe from a distance and 
say, 'Yes, we can replicate that and do that in X 
number of cities in America when we open the 
film.' 

By the same token, you go to a festival, you 
have your publicist beat the bushes, get critics 



22 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 






to come see the film and instantly trade in the 
sort of gossip that can then be communicated 
to the likes of us: 'Oh, [New York Times critic] 
Janet Maslin stayed to the end and was laugh- 
ing the whole time,' stuff like that. Because we 
need to know that, if we commit to the movie, 
that the media will support it. 

So the process of marketing the film can 
begin at the very beginning. When I open a fes- 
tival catalog before seeing a single film, that 
which is said about the film — which is fre- 
quently adapted from the press materials pro- 
vided to the festival — can either intrigue me or 
bore me to tears. That single image that you 
see, there are certain stills you look at and say, 
'Whoa! I want to see that movie!' I felt that 
way about the still in the Sundance catalog for 
Blair Witch. And that single image has stuck 
with the film for a very long time. 

So, it is never a mistake, if you can afford it, 



whole movie, and nothing they tell you before 
or after is going to matter much. If it doesn't 
excite us and we in turn can't excite quite a few 
others, it has to stop right there. 

How much price haggling should filmmakers engage 
in once distributors are interested? 

I can see a movie, really respond to it, and 
think that at a certain price that it is exactly 
what we're looking for. But you would be sur- 
prised how quickly that film looks less attrac- 
tive as soon as the price is several hundred 
thousand dollars higher. 

I suppose filmmakers owe it to themselves to 
hold out for what think they can get — there are 
economic mandates and investors who need to 
be repaid — but the history books are littered 
with cases of films that did not land distribution 
because they were overpriced. It's never about 
what a movie cost, it's only about what a movie 



"The process of marketing a film can begin at the very 

beginning. When I open a festival catalog, the description 

can either intrigue me or bore me to tears. 

There are certain stills you look at and say, 

'Whoa! I want to see that movie!' 



to have some sort of publicity representation at 
the earliest possible stage, so that every written 
word attached to a film at the outset descrip- 
tively is controlled and tasty. And to have a 
photographer on board for at least some of the 
shoot, so that you have images that are clear 
and evocative. I think people would be sur- 
prised how inexpensively that can be done. 
And it's also an area that is most frequently 
overlooked. 

Does it help to have a trailer? 

Every once and a while you get a promo for a 
film festival that shows what the film looks like, 
its shooting style, etc. But there are promo reels 
and there are promo reels — things that are cut 
like trailers and could be all smoke and mirrors. 
You have no idea whether the film really plays 
like that or not. 

Sometimes we're approached by filmmakers, 
and they sit us down and show us 20 minutes of 
assembled footage, where you'll get scenes that 
are actually representative of the shooting style, 
the editing style, the acting style, the produc- 
tion values. That can be very helpful and can 
be the basis on which a distributor starts a seri- 
ous flirtation. 

But more often than not, you need to see the 



can make [for distributors], every film is worth 
only as much as you think you can earn back 
and then profit, and the profit has to pay for 
your time, your labor, and your slot on the 
release schedule. You always look to make your 
money back theatrically, and then you do the 
math. If the price becomes something that 
makes profit a real question mark, you're prob- 
ably not supposed to be picking up that movie. 
It's so easy to walk away in an instance like 
that. 

My partner and I have been doing this for 
nearly two years, and we have never, ever, ever 
been involved in a bidding war. There can be a 
lot of buzz for certain films, then nothing hap- 
pens. The dust settles and reality gets restored. 
But that's one of the dangers of film festivals — 
they create an enormous inflation of expecta- 
tions on the part of distributors as well as film- 
makers. It takes just one highly publicized (and 
frequently fictional) sales figure for multiple 
millions of dollars to make everybody think 
that if they put on their down parka and take 
their film to Sundance, they're going to end up 
rich by next Saturday. It just doesn't work that 
way. Those sales are very few and far between. 

Nine times out of 10, you go to a film festi- 
val and everybody's whipped into a frenzy. 



tthens 

International 

Film& 



estival 



\WvJ V 



2000 




■JEWRY FORM 
ens International 
Film & Video Fes 
MX Box 3 
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email 



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teh 740 593 1330 
ax: 740 597 2560 



APPLET OIM-LHM 

www.cats.ohioi.odu/filmfest 

1 DEADLINE 

j Feb. 14 





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You're finally seeing films you haven't been 
allowed to see beforehand. You've had prelimi- 
nary meetings, there's been flirtation, you've 
read the script, the cast is great, you're all set 
with your cell-phone, you know exactly where 
to reach the sales agent at the end of the movie. 
But, I swear to you, there's a high number of 
walk outs before the movie's over. We sneak 
out. Maybe somebody will pick it up, maybe 
somebody won't, but it's not for us. We don't 
like it, we don't believe in it, we don't think it's 
going to make money for anybody; certainly in 
our hands, it's not going to shine. It's very 
depressing — more so for the filmmakers, 
because they put all of their chips on one num- 
ber, and it just very rarely works out. 

Can filmmakers change your mind about a picture? 
How can a filmmaker follow up after the festival? 

There have been some sad instances where 
filmmakers are surprisingly indefatigable in 
coming back to you again and again, and you're 
not interested. They ask you, "Did you see the 
movie?" "I want to talk to you about my 
movie." And there's nothing to talk about. If I'd 
have liked your movie, you would have heard. 
But every once in a while, a change can 
occur, a change in the perception of the film. 
Sometimes it just takes time. You need some 
distance from the festival madness. Often [the 
film's] very touching, but you're tired, you've 
seen too much in too few days, you're looking at 
your watch, you're supposed to be in three 
other places. 

If a film is potentially 'difficult' to distribute, will you 
be more likely to consider it if a filmmaker presents 
you with a marketing strategy? 

I hear that a lot of what ultimately became a 
model for what Artisan did on The Blair Witch 
Project was in fact already in place with the 
filmmakers. [They had] a highly imaginative 
approach to capitalizing on the film's mystery 
and minimalism. So I could see a distributor not 
only responding to the movie, but to the ways 
to make it work. But you still have to imple- 
ment it — and implement it in a national way, 
spend a good deal of money to have it really 
reach audiences — so you have to believe in it. 
Every film is such hard work and something 
you have to live with for such a very long time, 
that you really need to want to get involved. It 
becomes a member of your family, and there are 
people you want to invite over and people you 
don't. 

Lynn Ermann is a freelance writer in New York who has 

written for the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal. 

New York Daily News, and other publications. 



24 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



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RECAPTURING 
RUNAWAY PRODUCTION 

Why Canada has become a production magnet 
and what the U.S. is doing about it. 

by Peter Wentworth 







Summary of U.S.-Developed Runaway Production, 1990 and 1998 








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READ IT AND WEEP: A report on Runaway Production commissioned by DGA/SAG shows an increase of 185% 
between 1990 and 1998 of U.S. film and TV productions shooting abroad. 



"Whaddaya mean you're going to shoot your film in 
Canada? What have they got that we don't? Well, 
yes, the exchange rate works in their favor. Okay, so 
you don't have to sign a DGA contract, but that's 
only a few people. A 22 to 43 percent rebate against 
all Canadians employed on the production and 
another 10% for services? {Jmmmm, that's serious 
money. But what about the crews? I mean, can you 
find enough experienced . . . They shot how many 
features in Toronto last year? I guess they do have a 
crew base. Yeah, well, so you can hire all your crew 
there, which saves on housing, travel, and per diem. 
The advantages of staying in the VS.? I'm thinking 
. . . Give me a second . . . Say, could tell me some- 
one I could talk to in Canada? I've got this project . . ." 

The growing number of U.S. productions 
choosing to shoot in Canada has become a 
matter of national concern. A joint report com- 
missioned by the Directors Guild of America 
(DGA) and the Screen Actor's Guild (SAG) 
titled "Runaway Productions" details with 



alarming bar graphs and terrifying pie charts the 
escalating number of films headed north to take 
advantage of the windfall of free money. 
Coupled with a meaningful support environ- 
ment of skilled labor and facilities, Canada 
seems too good a bargain to pass up. The million 
dollar question (or $1,350,000 in Canadian dol- 
lars) is: what can we do about this? 

That's what the U.S. Congress wanted to 
know when it scheduled a hearing in 
Charleston, South Carolina, on October 8, 
which unfortunately was postponed due to last- 
minute scheduling conflicts. But the debate 
will likely continue — so stay tuned. For those of 
you who haven't converted your dollars to 
Canadian currency and still want to shoot on 
native soil, help may be on the way. (So, too, 
for technical crew who won't be able to get 
Canadian work permits.) The upside of all this 
is that there are a number of new incentives 
and rebates at the Federal and State level that 
are pending or on the table. 



Canadian Film Incentives 

Canadian Film Incentives are something I've 
regularly revisited since the mid-1980s, when I 
was looking for any assistance I could find to 
help get my first film financed. I knew there was 
government money for production in Canada, 
but the eligibility requirements were complex. 
Projects had to achieve six to 10 points, earned 
by having a Canadian lead actor or two; a 
Canadian director; a Canadian producer; a 
Canadian screenplay (two points each); and 
some coveted below-the-line positions: art 
director, editor, and director of photography. It 
was an exceedingly difficult formula to meet if 
you were an American producer. 

The Canadian government's film incentives 
might best be described as cultural protection- 
ism. Projects had to have sufficient Canadian 
content, which was felt necessary to preserve 
Canada's cultural identity. One can see how 
this was a worthy issue when 90 percent of their 
population is within 100 miles of the American 
border. Though the Canadian Film Board was 
founded after WW II, it found its rallying cry in 
the 1950s with the pervasive threat of 
American television. More recently, Telefilm 
Canada was created for a slightly different pur- 
pose. In addition to funding on the basis of con- 
tent, it was also meant to benefit Canada's film 
and television economy. Since Telefilm 
Canada's policy was to provide 50% percent of 
funding, Canadian producers were then left to 
find the balance. The United States was a nat- 
ural for co-production money: we speak the 
same language and, like it or not, have similar 
cultures. Gradually, as requirements for content 
lessened, one thing remained a constant and a 
minimum requirement: the film had to be shot 
in Canada. 

Specific Incentives 

In 1994 the Canadian Government created a 
new kind of grant to assist in the funding of 
Canadian projects. Producers were offered a 
federal rebate of 11% against all Canadians 
employed on a film shot within its borders. 
Again, although the intent was to promote 
Canadian filmmaking, it also opened the door 
to American co-producers who could bring iv\ 
enue into the country. Over the next few years 
the separate provinces created their own rebate 
programs to match that of the federal govern- 
ment. When combined, the total rebate tor 
filming in Canada is 22 percent against all 
Canadians on the payroll (halt provincial, halt 
national). What's mote, the competition foi 
film revenue has lie. tied up between the 



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provinces, leading to Manitoba's passage of a 
whopping 33 percent rebate, which when com- 
bined with the federal government's 1 1 percent 
provides a 44 percent rebate for all Manitoba 
residents employed on a feature film shot 
Manitoba. 

While the U.S. press has focused on the 
Canadian package (exchange rate, labor costs, 
and rebates) as the cause of runaway produc- 
tion, the most significant growth in Canadian 
runaways has occurred since the passage of the 
employment rebates in 1994- Prior to that, the 
exchange rate and labor rate advantages were a 




small incentive to most American 
producers, as Canada's film infra- 
structure (crews and equipment) was felt to be 
insufficient to handle the demands of Holly- 
wood. Thus, what could be saved wasn't worth 
the risk of using unproved Canadian crews and 
facilities. 

The labor rebates created a very meaningful 
incentive for American producers to throw- 
caution to the wind and hire the less experi- 
enced Canadian crews. For producers with 
return business, the benefits grew as the crews 
became more experienced; what's more, they 
discovered their investments in Canadian facil- 
ities could also be eligible for additional tax 
breaks. Thus the change in Canada's funding 
orientation — from culture to infrastructure 
development — has yielded the largest pool of 
skilled labor and facilities outside of L.A. and 
New York. And it's one that works for less, at 
the end of the day leaving American producers 
with a six or seven-digit rebate as a parting gift. 

The U.S. Feds' Response 

The phenomenon of runaway production is not 
new. In the sixties and into the seventies, run- 
away production was a significant enough issue 
to warrant the passage of several measures to 



keep Hollywood filming in Hollywood. The 
1971 Revenue Act allowed a tax credit to 
American companies that produced their films 
in America. This, coupled with the "Porn and 
Corn" tax credits, created a pool of new funds 
for many small independent film companies. 
(The nickname "Porn and Corn" obviously 
came from its detractors and reflects the fact 
that these tax shelters, which provided a 100 
percent rebate to investors in motion pictures, 
led to fiscal abuse. There was also a political 
backlash when it was realized that it was fund- 
ing X-rated movies.) The abuse of these tax 
shelters led to their abolition in 
1976. 

Washington does not want histo- 
ry to repeat itself. So while it is be- 
ginning to pass measures to address 
the problem of runaway produc- 
tion, these are less generous than 
earlier. A recent measure in Con- 
gress proposed a 20 percent tax 
break on the first $20,000 earned 
by production staff; this met resis- 
tance, however, based on the fear 
that, once again, American 
tax-payers might find them- 
selves footing the bill for 
pornography. Despite lobbying 
from the DGA and SAG, 
House Ways and Means chair- 
man Bill Archer (R-Tex) recently nixed the bill. 
In general, political support for the motion pic- 
ture industry is delicate nowadays, both in light 
of the recent outcry against violence in the 
media and given the simple fact that both 
houses of Congress are controlled by the 
Republicans, who view the motion picture 
industry as the domain of liberal Democrats. 

There is discussion between film industry 
advocates and the Department of Commerce to 
throw the NAFTA and GATT trade agree- 
ments on the table, if need be. GATT's and 
NAFTA's special protection of motion pictures 
could become a bargaining chip as the United 
States faces for the first time a serious threat to 
its dominance in the production of movies. 
Canada has been allowed some trade protec- 
tionism under the argument that motion picture 
trade must be isolated because of its significant 
cultural role. If film is treated like any other 
commodity, the argument goes, then American 
studios would flood the worldwide market and 
make it all but impossible for indigenous cultur- 
al production to survive. In Canada, such pro- 
tectionism exists primarily in television, where 
Canadian content is given special consideration. 



26 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



On the State Level 

For most states, the recruitment of the motion 
picture industry is handled under the auspices 
of economic development, as the revenue gen- 
erated is viewed as business recruitment. 
Expenditures for labor, facilities, housing, and 
non-durables all add up. 

In the past year, fueled by the SAG/DGA 
report, the newly created consortium of State 
Film Commissions has banded together to 
address the common enemy of Canada. Many 
individual states are beginning to offer incen- 
tives to help draw the film industry. Given the 
temporary nature of the business, these incen- 
tives are far less generous than those for other 
types of industries. Nonetheless, if you are plan- 
ning a shoot of any size, always consult your 
State Film Commission to find out what incen- 
tives they might have or are in the process of 
formulating and whether your production is eli- 
gible. 

Sales Tax Rebates 
The most prominent incentive is the sales tax 
rebate, where productions apply beforehand 
and receive a voucher. The production accoun- 
tants typically supply their major vendors with 
this voucher, saving on state sales tax, which 
can run anywhere from 4 to 8 percent. 

Hotel Room/ Residency Rebates 
A second common incentive is a waiver on 
non-residency tax. Most hotels charge an addi- 
tional 6 to 10 percent for a state-levied resi- 
dency tax. This is a tax that is charged for 
short-term guests. However, in some states if a 
room is booked in excess of a certain number of 
days, one can apply for a rebate against this tax. 
The typical cut-off is 30 days; thus on a four- 
week shoot, a production is right at the cusp of 
eligibility for this rebate — which adds up. For 
instance: 

Room rate: $50 per night 
Residence tax @ 8% = $4/night, or $l20/month. 
Potential rebates for a crew of 30 for 30 nights: 
$3,600 

San Jose provides a waiver on residency 
taxes after 30 days. In South Carolina, you 
gotta turn on the lights at Motel 6 for 90 days 
before you get this money. 

Investor Tax Credits 
The following are some examples of state 
incentive programs. Be forewarned, some re- 
quire significant math skills! 



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active projects in Hollywood to be- 
come Dean of the School of Film- 
making at the North Carolina School 
of the Arts? "Because I think we 
have the potential to be the best film 
school in the world," he says. 
With 12 feature films to his credit - 
including SET IT OFF, BLAZE, A 
MIDNIGHT CLEAR, and MRS. WINTERBOURNE - and a 
best-selling biography of George Lucas, Pollock ought to know. 

School of Filmmaking 

Offering B.F.A. and College Arts Diploma 

North Carolina. 
School of the Ajrts 

For information about our school year or summer session, contact: 
Admissions, North Carolina School of the Arts, 1533 S. Main St., 
Winston-Salem, NC 27 1 27-2 1 88; 336-770-3290; www.ncarts.edu 

An equal opportunity institution of the University of North Carolina 







Januan • 'February AW THE INDEPENDENT 27 



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North Carolina 

North Carolina provides a state income tax 
rebate of 33 percent of one's total investment 
in designated North Carolina Small Businesses. 
And just as North Carolina-based film compa- 
nies are eligible for this tax rebate, so too are 
investors in the company. The maximum tax 
credit an investor may claim is $15,000. 
However, the state allows a total of $5 million 
in total tax credits per year through this pro- 
gram. 

South Carolina 

South Carolina passed Bill 5060 last year, which 
provides a state tax credit for all individuals 
who invest in a qualified motion picture pro- 
ject. The requirements include shooting 20 per- 
cent of the film in the state and spending 2.5 
times the total revenues from South Carolina 
investors in the state. 

Let's say one is making a $ 1 million him. SC 
investors can each invest up to $45,000 and 
receive a tax credit of $15,000 against what 
they owe the state. However, the total amount 
of money eligible for the credit is $400,000 (2.5 
x $400,000 = $1,000,000). Thus, you can raise 
part of your money in South Carolina, but 
you've also got to pull in outside investors for 
the balance. This type of legislation is typical, 
in that it allows the state to benefit also. 

Rebates & Co -financing 
Minnesota rebates 5 percent of all costs in- 
curred within the state up to $100,000. Simply 
stated, all Minnesota residents, services, and 
goods used are eligible for a state rebate, with a 
total rebate of no more than $100,000. 

As one would expect from Texas, their 
incentive is big — but unfortunately, it takes an 
equally large entity to utilize this program. 
Texas will put up 50 percent of the film's bud- 
get, but it requires a completion bond, a proven 
track record, and a piece of the action — and a 
guarantee that the film will go into profit. It 
sounds impressive, but the resounding question 
among those who have kicked this incentive 
around is, 'Has anybody made it work yet? 

The DG A/SAG report "Runaway Productions" 

can be downloaded from [www.dga.org/press/ 

releases/ 1999 /runaway. pdf]. Check out AIVF's 

website [www.aivf.org] or the Association of Film 

Commissioners International's web site 

[www.afci.org] for information on over 250 film 

commisions and liaisons worldwide. 

Peter Wentwonh is an independent producer 
living in North Caroliria. 



28 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



G 



•j-j^y/ 



Number Cruncher 

Getting cut-rate cut lists through the FilmLogic database. 

by Zed Saeed 



HHHHBBKSi 



FilmLogic's 
Cut List Menu 




Digital nonlinear editing has not only 
transformed the world of video, but also that of 
filmmaking. The vast majority of feature films 
in circulation these days are edited in the fol- 
lowing fashion: first they're converted to video, 
complete with timecode and keycode burn-in, 
then digitized into such popular nonlinear 
editing systems (NLEs) as Avid, Media 100, 
Premiere, and Apple's new Final Cut Pro. 
After arriving at a satisfactory edit, cut lists 
and optical lists are generated that are sent to 
the film lab for negative matchbacks. 

However, NLEs that are affordable on the 
front-end mask extra work (and dollars) on the 
back-end, at the telecine and film matchback 
stages. Affordable NLEs that can handle the 
tricky business of converting between the 
video frame rate of 29.97 (NTSC) and that of 
film, which works at 24fps, are practically non- 
existent. Most high-end NLEs (e.g., 
Lightworks) that can easily generate negative 
cut-lists and opticals for film matchbacks cost 
hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Independent filmmakers who want an 



affordable option can turn to software that sup- 
plements many affordable NLEs. FilmLogic® 
from Focal Point Systems., Inc. is one such 
application. 

Be aware that FilmLogic is itself not an edit- 
ing system, but a database program that works 
in conjunction with NLEs, allowing you to cre- 
ate an extensive database of your film after it 
has been transferred to tape and digitized. 
FilmLogic can handle various 35mm and 16mm 
film formats and works with both NTSC or 
PAL video systems. 

When film is transferred to video at a 
telecine house, there are a few ways to go about 
it. The best method is do a "scene and take" 
transfer, which is done one take at a time. This 
process results in a telecine log generated by 
the technician. FilmLogic can import these logs 
and create a database of your shots per the 
transfers. From here, the user can export a 
batch capture list for any of the NLE^ thai 
FilmLogic supports. (And FilmLogic supports 
quite a few. At last count these included Avid, 
Media 100, Adobe Premiere, Apple's Final Cut 



Pro, and EditDV.) These batch capture lists are 
used to digitize the video footage via the NLE. 

The scene and take transfer, however, is an 
expensive way to go. Most independent film- 
makers prefer a "camera roll" transfer, where 
one roll is transferred to tape at a time. While 
this is a much cheaper method, you do not end 
up with a telecine log this way. Fear not, how- 
ever, because FilmLogic allows you to manually 
create your database and enter all the informa- 
tion necessary to generate either a batch cap- 
ture for your NLE or create a cut list for the lab. 

The process in FilmLogic is very straightfor- 
ward. After you have the film lab transfer the 
film to tape with the key codes and timecodes 
burnt in, you first digitize the shots into your 
NLE of choice (we'll use Media 100 as an 
example here). The next step is to manually 
create a database by entering all the informa- 
tion on takes and rolls, etc., into the FilmLogic 
system. 

Assuming there is no telecine log available, 
one must go into FilmLogic and enter the time 
code and key code information to each of the 
shots. This is done by opening the digitized 
media files while inside the FilmLogic applica- 
tion and entering the necessary information. 

The FilmLogic interface consists of two basic 
windows: List View and a Detail View window. 
These are well laid out and allow you to enter a 
whole host of information, such as time code, 
key code, roll and take numbers, and log notes. 
FilmLogic also allows you to capture a snapshot 
of the scene for easier identification. Having 
done that, you can go back to Media 100 and 
cut your film, letting FilmLogic handle any 
matchback to film issues. 

FilmLogic comes with a Media 100 plug-in 
that gets dropped into the Media 100 applica- 
tion folder. This allows a special item to show 
up in Media 100's "File" menu which says 
"Export CutList with FilmLogic" and which 
offers some choices to generate opticals, etc. 
After having finished the editing, one simply 
generates a cut list using this command and 
sends it out to the film lab tor negative match- 
back. 

I tried FilmLogic with Media 100, Premiere 
5.0, and Final Cut Pro, and it worked flawless- 
ly with each system. However, my past experi- 
ences with NLEs have me in a bit of a skeptical 
mood. What often happens is that making such 
a process simple involves some expensive ways 
of transferring film to tape, such as the "scene 
and take" method mentioned earlier. 

So I decided to put FilmLogic through its 
paces, creating a situation thai would test the 



January February 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 29 



<s 




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contact Erik Jambor, Festival 
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flexibility of FilmLogic and its ability to help a 
filmmaker with a shoe-string budget cut his film 
and generate a cut list for the film lab. I pre- 
tended to be a starving filmmaker (not all that 
hard) with this simple set up: a borrowed Final 
Cut Pro workstation (possibly the cheapest and 
the best NLE around), a copy of FilmLogic, and 
nothing but a VHS tape of some film transfers 
with timecode and keycode information burnt 



own database. I also generated some optical 
lists for a few dissolves I threw in. I went back 
over each cut and checked to see if the frame 
numbers were accurate. They were. 

This brings me to possibly the best feature in 
FilmLogic, which is its ability to work with very 
little information. Of course we'd all like a 
"scene and take " transfer and a telecine log to 
start with, but rarely will we have that luxury, 
given our characteristically low independent 



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1405.01 


1156.10 
1413*13 


4 
6 


2 
2C 


2 

4 










009 
010 


0059.09 
0072.00 


0012.07 
0006*07 


KU091986 
KU300575 


1166.10 
1167.02 


1179*00 
1173*08 


4 

5 


2 
2B 






Head lng 


3 




FIELD DELIlt TABS 


011 


0078.07 


0005.05 


KU347537 


1431+11 


1436*15 


6 


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4 




VIDEO FORMAT HTSC 


012 


0083.12 


0009.06 


KU300189 


0209+14 


0219+03 


13 


4 


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FILM FORtlAT 35m, 4 pert 


013 


0093.02 


0004.12 


KU464588 


0039+12 


0044*07 


14 


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014 


0097.14 


0006.14 


KU3001S9 


0222+12 


0229*09 


13 


4 


2 




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015 


0104.12 


0004.13 


KU464588 


0047+11 


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018 


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020 


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0131*04 


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01-H-H 


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4 





CALL FOR ENTRIES 



I digitized my VHS copy of the film into 
Final Cut Pro. Bear in mind that VHS has no 
timecode track. I was relying on nothing more 
that the timecode burn-in on the tape. Then I 
opened the digitized media files in FilmLogic 
and manually created the database by logging 
each clip. I would open the file in FilmLogic 
and, by reading the time code and the keycode, 
fill in the database. Here's where I have a minor 
quibble with FilmLogic: it needs to build in a 
fast and reliable Optical Character Recognition 
to avoid the tedious task of reading the time- 
code and the keycode burn ins. Creating the 
database took quite some time, even for a short 
film. But as a starving filmmaker, I presumably 
have more time than money. 

After creating my database in FilmLogic, I 
went into Final Cut Pro and assigned a time- 
code track to each of my clips. (This was done 
through an elegant feature in Final Cut Pro 
that allows me to assign a timecode of my 
choice to any clip.) I then proceeded to edit my 
film in Final Cut Pro. 

Currently, FilmLogic has no export plug-in 
for Final Cut Pro, so I had to export a CMX 
3600 EDL (Edit Decision List) from Final Cut 
Pro, and then FilmLogic created the final cut 
list by comparing my CMX 3600 EDL with its 



The end result — your cut list 



film budgets. FilmLogic even allows you to 
work with a simple film-to-tape transfer without 
any timecode information whatsoever. 

Being able to reverse the telecine pulldown 
is another nice feature. This restores the clip to 
true 24fps and takes care of any pulldown, 
sound sync, or match back issues. The ability to 
edit at 24fps is very important to some film- 
makers. (However, be aware that of the NLEs I 
mentioned, only Adobe Premiere can edit at 
24fps.) 

I wholeheartedly recommend FilmLogic for 
independent filmmakers who want to edit digi- 
tally. It is a versatile system that is compatible 
with numerous popular NLEs and has the abil- 
ity to work with technically perfect film-to-tape 
transfers as well as really cheap ones. 

For further information, contact: 
FilmLogic: www.filmlogic.com/ 
Final Cut Pro: www.apple.com/finalcutpro/ 

For more general information on film-to- 
video transfers and matchback conversion, see: 
www.filmmaker.com/editing/ 
www.zerocut.com/ 



Zecf Saeed [zedwin@earthlink.net] is a freelance 
consultant in digital media based in New York. 



30 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



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by" Andrea Meyer 



OUR FILM HAS BEEN ACCEPTED INTO A FOREIGN 

film festival. While jumping for joy, you 

notice the section in the festival guidelines 

that says, "All films must be screened in their 

original version with German [or French or 

Japanese] subtitles." Your smile stiffens into 

an expression of panic. You've already spent all 

your money shooting the film. You went into 

debt in post and even further on one precious 

print, video dubs, and festival applications. 

Now you're supposed to pay for subtitles? 

Steven Bognar found himself in this posi- 
tion when a film he co-produced with Julia 
Reichert, The Dream Catcher, directed by Ed 
Radtke, got into the Locarno International 
Film Festival in Switzerland, a festival that requires 
French subtitles on all films selected. "We 
were very excited to be invited," Bognar 
says, "but, like many filmmakers, we only 
had one print in the world. Whether to 
get subtitles is a big question, because 
once they're on, they're not coming off. 
We didn't want to miss a great opportuni- 
ty, so we were faced with a decision: do 
we burn subtitles into our one print, or do 
we turn down the invitation?" 

This decision is one that countless filmmakers are forced to make. 
Locarno, like many of the larger festivals, including Cannes, Berlin, 
and Venice, as well as several of the smaller ones, requires that films 
be titled in the language of the festival. And subtitling is not cheap. 
What's a starving indie filmmaker to do? 




The single biggest advantage of electronic titles 
might be that the filmmaker's beloved print 
remains untouched. He or she can go from festival 
to festival with nothing but a pocketful of disks 
marked "French," "Italian," and "German." 



B t 



'EFORE YOU FREAK OUT, TAKE THIS FIRST STEP: FlND OUT WHO IS 
responsible for paying for the subtitles — you or the festival? Some 
international festivals, including those in Thessaloniki, Creteil, Turin, 
and Yamagata, to name a few, provide subtitles for films selected. As 
Gordon Hitchens, American representative for the Yamagata 
International Documentary Film Festival, explains, "The filmmaker 
sends a cassette with an English transcript that clearly says, 'The boy 
in the red shirt says this, the girl in the blue brassiere says that.' They'll 
take care of everything." Valerie Kontakos, U.S. representative of the 
Thessaloniki Film Festival, reiterates the importance of having a tran- 
script ready when entering the international festival circuit. "If you 
want to go to foreign festivals, you need one," she says. 

There are exceptions — the rare festival that screens English-lan- 
guage films without titles. Producer Gill Holland had the European 
premiere of Morgan J. Freeman's Hurricane Streets in Norway at the 
Haugesund Film Festival. "Norwegians all speak English," Holland 
says, "so they don't require a subtitled print. That's important for peo- 



ple to know. The farther North 
you get, the more English people 
speak." 

But the reality is that most for- 
eign festivals require the filmmak- 
er to provide and pay for a subti- 
tled print. Going back to the case 
of The Dream Catcher, when 
Bognar and team tried to con- 
vince the Locarno administration 
to help them cover the cost of titles, "They didn't go for it," Bognar 
says. So the filmmakers dug into their pockets and put French subtitles 
on their sole print. With no time to shop around, they sent the film to 
Titra Films in Los Angeles for laser subtitles. "It cost us five thousand 
bucks," says Bognar. "We got invited to Locarno less than two weeks 
before we had to go, and we had to turn it around." Ultimately, they 
were pleased with the titles and did not regret spending their last pen- 
nies on them. "It was really good that it was in that festival," he says. 
"We had a strong presence, we won an award, we got very positive 
reviews and feature stories in Le Monde and LExpress. [Director] Ed 
Radtke is taking the film to Paris to be part of Rencontres du Cinema 
a Paris, which is put together by some of the organizers of Cannes. All 
the good things that are happening in France are because we got those 
subtitles." 

The Dream Catcher crew was lucky. All of the festivals that they've 
been to since Locarno — Hamburg, Raindance in London, Chicago, 
and, next up, Rotterdam and Thessaloniki — have agreed to screen 
their subtitled print. "We haven't hit any roadblocks because of the fact 
that the film has French subtitles," Bognar says. "Ironically we're going 
to have our home premiere, in Dayton, Ohio, and the film is going to 
have French subtitles." 



L'Art de Sous-titouler L'Arte di Sottotitulai 



T> 



HERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE TO HAVING SUBTITLES PERMANENTLY 
burned onto your print, and that's electronic subtitling. The 
Thessaloniki, Torino, and Venice Film Festivals, among others, use 
Softitler®, one of the first electronic subtitling systems. With offices all 
over the world, Softitler creates titles that are independent of the print 
and appear on an LED panel that sits below the movie screen, like 
those used to translate operas. Anne Zimmerman, director of interna- 
tional operations for Classic Titles System, the Florence -based compa- 
ny that developed the system, explains, "There is a display that is hung 
beneath the screen, and the subtitles are launched from a computer via 
fiber optic cables, usually from the projection booth." Equipment 
rental and a technical staff are included in the price. 

There are many advantages to choosing electronic subtitles. For 
one, they tend to be less expensive. What's more, if a film is screening 
at a festival where Softitler is providing equipment and titles for 80 
other films (like they did for the 1999 Venice Film Festival), 
Zimmerman says "we would have a special price for that." 

Morgan Fiume, VP of the L.A.-based Softitler Net Inc., insists that 
"it's cheaper to hire us to come for one film than to burn subtitles. The 
hardware — a technician brings it in a suitcase, sets it up, and leaves 
the next day." 

If a filmmaker is in a situation where he or she can use electronic 
titles, speed is another benefit. Putting subtitles onto a print the tradi- 
tional way is a complicated process requiring many steps: 

1 . Creating a dialogue list. 

2. Spotting — breaking down the dialogue into 1-2 line titles, deter- 
mining in and out points, and marking time codes (for tape) or feet and 
frames (for film) for the beginning and end of each title. 

3. Translation. 

4. Subtitling — combining the time codes calculated during spotting 
with actual dialogue. 

5. Simulation for quality control. 

6. Synchronization — checking each reel for conformity of length 
and cuts. 

7. Laser engraving. 

Fiume says that with his system, you can skip the final steps. "All we 
need to do is have the translator working until the very last minute. 
We just save it onto a disk." The titles are activated from a laptop at 
the actual screening, and a live technician is there to supervise. They 
never need to see the film print in order to create the titles — just a 
transcript and a video cassette. 

Laser titling, in contrast, requires that each of the preliminary steps 
be completed before the final engraving can take place. Valerie Gorge, 
technical director of New York office of the Paris-based Laser Video 
Titres, says, "The problem is that more and more people edit on Avid, 
so they don't have a print until the last minute. That makes it very dif- 
ficult for us. We're the last stop. Sometimes I have to carry the film to 
Cannes myself." 

The single biggest advantage of electronic titles might be that the 




Although dialogue-heavy films can present problems 
in foreign markets, The Cruise benefited from superior 
translation/subtitling and performed well in Germany. 



filmmaker's beloved print remains untouched. He or she can go from 
festival to festival with nothing but a pocketful of disks marked 
"French," "Italian," "German." "That's the beauty of it," says 
Thessaloniki's Kontakos. "You can have a film travel across Europe and 
not have to get a print with a different language for each country." 

All of this pertains to the film festival circuit. If a film is picked up 
for theatrical distribution in foreign markets, electronic titles will no 
longer suffice. "It's not a mass-market system," admits Fiume. "If your 
film is going to a 
hundred theaters in 
France, they would 
all have to have our 
equipment, which is 
why right now it's not 
a possibility." 

Bruce Goldstein, 
co-president of 

Rialto Pictures and 
repertory program- 
mer for Film Forum 
in New York City, 
believes that nothing 
can compete with 
laser subtitles, even 
though he's been 

pleased with the electronic titles that have accompanied some of the 
traveling retrospectives he's shown, like Tutto Fellini. "The only 
advantage of electronic subtitles," he says, "is that you can take one 
print and go all over Europe. It has its gremlins." Purists like Goldstein 
think that laser subtitles can't be beat. With a system that cuts com- 
pletely through the emulsion, they are a vast improvement over old- 
fashioned subtitles. Laser Video Titres' Gorge explains, "It's a tiny laser 
beam that burns into the emulsion of the film, and the burnt emulsion 
is then vacuumed. That's why it's so clean. It's like making a hole in a 
piece of white paper with a cigarette. There is a black circle around it, 
so you can see the subtitles even on a white background." 

The precision of laser titling has its cost. Like Bognar discovered, 
you're charged for each step in the subtitling process. As Ted Hicks, 
Titra's New York office supervisor, enumerates, "There's a charge per 
title. Sometimes a client needs to have a translation done. There's a 
charge for spotting." An estimate from Laser Video Titres for a 110- 
minute film comes to $3,737 before translation costs, which range from 
$1 to $3 per title. Even with the "small discount for IFP members and 
students" that Hicks says Titra offers, laser subtitling carries a hefty 
price tag. Goldstein insists, however, that "laser's the best, if you can 
afford it. When you're not doing multiple prints, there's no point in not 
doing laser titling. The quality is far superior." 



A 



GOOD RULE OF THUMB IS TO ASSUME THAT LOGAL AUDIENCE- 
oriented festivals are going to require subtitles, while the major inter- 



Die Kunst der Untertitlung Jimaku No Waza 



CONTACTS 



cirSt-.NYG10Qi 



: Daniele Alt 



| ' Lalaser@aol.cbm 

I :,-»■. Softitler 

.A office: Morgan Fiurr 

VP Softitler 

(323) 464-3307; 

Info@softitler.com 

lorence, Italy, home off 

(Classic Titles System) 

intact: Anne Zimmerrr 

01139055 277-681 

Jditional Softitler brant 

in Paris, Montreal & 

Barcelona) 



national markets may allow you to get by in English. 
The Berlin International Film Festival, for example, 
has different subtitling requirements for different 
sections. Films in the competition and Forum sec- 
tions must be translated into German, but selections 
in the Panorama may be screened in English without 
German subtitles. Panorama director Wieland Speck 
says, "I even recommend to the German filmmakers 
to make English subtitles." He explains: "I consider 
English the most useful international language, and I 
want the films to have a life beyond the festival. I 
consider the international buyers my most important 
audience — besides press, festival programmers, and ■ 
the Berlin public. They look in Panorama for art- 
house films that should make it to the theaters in 
Europe and beyond." While American filmmakers 
are safe from subtitling costs, Speck sends other film- 
makers to Holland Subtitling. Besides prices that 
Speck calls "reasonable," Holland offers a 10% price 
reduction for Panorama programs. 

Venice, like many festivals, has its own idiosyn- 
crasies. The festival provides Softitles in English for 
all films screened, but it also requires Italian titles to 
be burned onto the print. U.S. festival representative 
Giulia D'Agnolo says, "for Venice, it's rigid. The 
Italian has to be on the print, because the digital runs 
underneath." 

There are other festivals that have more flexible requirements, and 
some may even offer special assistance on a case-by-case basis. In the 
case of the San Sebastian Film Festival, U.S. rep Bernice Renault says 
the festival will help subsidize subtitling "only if you're genuinely 
broke." She explains, "In some cases, they've been known to con- 
tribute, but it's very rare." However, in the non-competitive Open 
Zone section (where most independent filmmakers end up anyway) , all 
films are provided with free electronic titles. As for Berlin's 
International Forum of New Cinema, which requires German subti- 
tles, "in special cases, the Forum may provide financial support for the 
costs of subtitling and one print," state the festival guidelines. Bennett 
Miller's documentary The Cruise was one of those cases. "We screened 
at Toronto," Miller says, "and the next day we got a fax inviting us [to 
Berlin]. I hesitated to accept — I thought of going to Rotterdam, 
because they have a good market — but they said 'We'll pay for the new 
print, the translation, the subtitles, and we'll fly you over.' " With an 
offer he couldn't refuse, Miller went to Berlin and was glad that he did. 
"Berlin was a great, great, great experience," he says. "We ended up 
with eight screenings. They'd only scheduled four. Literally thousands 
of people saw it. They really got it and loved it in German." 

Smaller festivals that are more concerned about local audiences 
than international buyers generally show subtitled films. Even if they 
lack the funds to provide titles, they might nevertheless find a way to 
work with a director with empty pockets. The Avignon Film Festival, 
for example, requires filmmakers to provide subtitled prints, but 
according to festival director Jerome Rudes, "If there's a film I really 
love and they show up and say T don't have any money,' then we have 
to decide if we'll show it or not. That happened last year. We had them 
bring the dialogue list, and we handed it out with flashlights. That 
would never happen at a larger festival. We try to work with people." 



Steven Bognar had a similar experience. When he took his documen- 
tary Personal Belongings to the Budapest Film Festival, he says, "They 
had headphones for the entire audience and a translator reading a 
transcript into the mike. It was wild to see. That's the low tech way to 
do it." 



I 



n Italian, Todd Solondz's Welcome to the Dollhouse was 

called Escape from Middle School. In French, it was Welcome to the 
Ungrateful Age. One of the more important questions regarding subti- 
tles is how to make sure you're getting a good translation. Following 
leads the festival provides is one way to avoid unpleasant surprises. 
Jerome Rudes of Avignon says, "I always recommend Laser Video 
Titres. I know that these people will take care of directors and do a 
good job." Berlin's Wieland Speck recommends Holland Subtitling. 
Thessaloniki and Venice swear by Classic Titles. Of course, the best 
way to insure satisfaction is to work with the translator. As part of a 
series of American films that D'Agnolo programs every year for the 
Turin Film Festival, she programmed Spike Lee's version of John 
Leguizamo's Freak. "Its language is very New York," she says. "So basi- 
cally, I worked on the phone with the woman who was translating. You 
can always finesse it." 

What if you don't have a festival curator personally supervising your 
translation? Some filmmakers, like Gill Holland, just let go. He says of 
the Spanish subtitles on Bobby G. Can't Swim, which recently screened 
in San Sebastian, "It is weird if you speak the language to see the film 
subtitled differently from how you would have. But translation is such 
an art. And when you're only paying $2,000, you're only getting the 
bare bones." His co-producer, Michael Pilgram, on the other hand, was 
thrilled with the same titles, which they had translated and spotted at 
Katina Productions in New York and burned on by Titra. Pilgram says, 
"Katina's very good, and they work for a low budget." Bennett Miller, 
who was more hands-on than the Bobby G. team, says that the trans- 
lators Berlin hired called him with questions. "We discussed things 
over the phone," he recalls. "I also had a German friend read the trans- 
lation; they emailed it to me. My friend said it was really good. He had 
almost no comments." 

Once you take the plunge and decide to get your film subtitled, 
there are ways to save money. For one, you can shop around and find 
places like Katina Productions, which do subtitles for an indie -friendly 
price. Larger houses like Titra, and especially those, recommended by 
the host festival, might be ready to cut a deal. There are also steps in 
the process — transcribing, translating, even spotting — that you could 
conceivably do on your own to save money. Most importantly, says 
Bognar, "I would urge any filmmaker to do the transcript yourself. You'll 
get the whole script, um for um, pause for pause, the way you want it. 
There's no excuse not to do that, even if you're not going to spot it 
yourself" (which he did for Personal Belongings, through a painstaking 
procedure that involved red and green thread) . 

It seems clear that there are more than two answers to the question 
"to subtitle or not to subtitle?" According to Bognar, "Ultimately it 
comes down to what's best for your film. There are all kinds of oppor- 
tunities to spend money on your film, and you have to constantly weigh 
whether it's worth going more into debt. 1 would still say it was worth 
it to make the sort of European splash that we've made." 

Andrea Meyer is a freelance writer living in New York and a former co-producer 
and programmer of the Avignon Film Festival. 



34 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



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For some people, making the transition to Y2K is simple. It involves no more 

than a few technical precautions: Back up your computer, withdraw some extra cash 
in case the banking system freezes, don't get in a spot where you have to depend on 
a functioning air traffic control system— then relax. Uncork some bubbly Be happy. 

For others, entering the year 2000 inspires a sense of awe, perhaps a moment of 
deep reflection about our tiny place in the great cosmic machinery. No doubt, some- 
one out there is preparing a missive to the future,, a message in a bottle thrown out 
into the infinite sea of time — a time capsule for future millennia. 





■■ ■■■■ ■■■ ■ 



We at The Independent would like to add our small part to this endeavor, to relay 

to the future or to far-flung beings a sense of what film culture is like at this moment 

in time. To this end, we've asked 12 prominent members of the film industry t 

ine the following: 


Tfte United States is preparing a Y2K Time Capsule. You've been 

selected as the person who will pick the objects pertaining to film 

and video. What would you choose and why? 







H E I N D E P E N D E N T January/Febn 



NASA's LAGEOS ball from Cathleen O'Connell's documentary Time Capsule: Message in a Bottle 




Alan Berliner, documentary filmmaker 

A Letter to the Future: Greetings from the year 2000. While I'm certain 
this time capsule contains many antique objects for your curiosity and 
enjoyment, my personal feeling is that you've come here looking for 
something else. Though I can't foretell the exact extent of your current 
crisis, my letter speaks of a future I can easily imagine. Of technologi- 
cal developments I can readily foresee. Of the inevitable mid-life crisis 
of the information age. 

We are the ones who used to be called the storytellers. 
Filmmakers. Videomakers. Mediamakers. We come 
from a time when new forms of digital technol- 
ogy were just about to replace the old tools 
and conventions of celluloid and videotape, 
when the old vocabulary of cinema had 
begun to fade, to lose its meaning (some say 
its relevance) and was replaced by binary 
codes and electronic computer commands. These 
technological changes promised to make the tools of 
storytelling simpler, cheaper, and abundantly accessible to the masses. 
Now that everyone is the producer/director/designer of their own 
personal website (when did they become mandatory?), I realize I'm not 
talking to specialists anymore. So what do you call yourselves? Time 
Architects? Interactivists? Cybernetters? The view from here has me 
imagining startling developments in artificial intelligence, virtual tech- 
nology, information encryption, and cybernetics. Micro-miniaturized 
stereo retinal cameras — recording imagery made as simple as seeing 
itself; bio -ports — for direct neural input and output transmissions 
voice recognition software — finally eliminating the need for keyboards 
genre formula programs — eventually eliminating the need for editors 
computers as full creative partners — acknowledged by name in the 
credits. 

Like the 19th century invention of photography or the 20th centu- 
ry revolution in desktop publishing, the unprecedented opportunity for 
anyone who wished to become both sole creator, distributor, and 
Internet impresario of their own work promised to once again liberate 
art and change the world forever. But something went wrong. 

Despite all the radical advances in the how and the democratization 
of the what, you've somehow forgotten the essence of the why. 
Information overload, an over-saturated media environment, and a 
pervasive sense of creative detachment have left you feeling more and 
more uninspired. You've lost touch with the spirit and passion that has 
always driven people to create, to excite, to surprise, to teach, to 
evoke, even to shock their fellow human beings. 

I've placed a zoetrope at the bottom of this time capsule. Turn off 
the lights. Hold it in your hands. Shine a candle (if you can find one) 
or a flashlight (if you still have one) or your pocket laser beam (more 
likely) upon it, and gently spin a magically animated old-fashioned 
optical illusion. Feel that sense of sheer wonderment. Behold the per- 
sistence of vision. This is what we can help you 
remember. 

Su Friedrich, experimental filmmaker 

I would compile a 16mm film reel made up of scenes 
that show at least some of the greatness and craziness o 
filmmaking during its first century. I would include an 
Eike projector and a nice screen. 

I can't describe the whole reel in a few words, but 
here's how it begins: The opening sequence of Igmai 







Clockwise from left: from the 
pictorial plaque accompanying 
the Pioneer F spacecraft; West- 
inghouse's 1965 time capsule; 
souvenir booklet from world's 
largest time capsule, Seward NE. 




Bergman's Persona; 

Chantal Akerman eat- 
ing sugar in her film Je, 
Tu, 11, Elle; Maya Deren 
in bed in her film Meshes 
of the Afternoon; Toshiro 
Mifune confronting the 
kidnapper in Kurosawa's 
High and Low; James 
Cagney on the oil tank 
in Walsh's White Heat; 
the Odessa steps 
sequence from 

Eisenstein's Battleship 
Potemkin; the second 
half of Kyle Kibbe's 100, 
N.Y., N.Y.; Yvonne 
Rainer in her boxing 
robe talking about breast 

cancer in Murder and murder; the spinning woman in Martin Arnold's 
Piece Touchee; the sex scene in Ngozi Onwurah's The Body Beautiful; 
the crew of Symbiopsychotaxiplasm revolting against the director, 
William Greaves; Hauser confounding the logician in Werner Herzog's 
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser; Buster Keaton clearing logs from the 
train tracks in The General; the rocket landing on the moon in Georges 
Melies' Trip to the Moon; Fred singing in Leslie Thornton's Peggy and 
Fred in Hell; Jack Lemmon dancing with a rose in his teeth in Billy 
Wilder's Some Like it Hot; the section of Anne Severson's Near The Big 
Chakra that includes the tampon string; Mae West's defense of her dia- 
monds in She Done Him Wrong; Walter Guttman singing the praises of 
trapeze artists in Circus Girls; Martina breast-feeding her mother in 
Peggy Ahwesh's Martina's Playhouse; Barbara Stanwyck cheek-to- 
cheek with Henry Fonda in Preston Sturgess' The Lady Eve; Manuela's 
declaration of love in Leontine Sagan's Maedchen in Uniform; and 
Leighton Pierce's Going Out in the Morning. 

Cathleen O'Connell, documentary filmmaker 

Greetings extraterrestrials. In the year 1999, earthlings known as 
"independent filmmakers," a wily and resourceful breed of humanoids, 
used celluloid, videotape, and ancient digital technologies to make art, 
communicate, and entertain. So that you may study the remains ot our 
ancient culture, we have placed in this time capsule some representa- 
tive samples of our most powerful tools. 

First, an analog specimen: the super 8 film camera. Despite its 
crudeness, it can capture great beauty. And as an example of its poten- 
tial, we've included some home movies of the O'Connell family 
Thanksgiving, circa 1969 A.D. To demonstrate the diversity of out 
tools, we've included a rare and exotic camera, the Fisher-Price PXL- 
2000. We uncovered this at an archaeological site known 
as eBay. Finally, the triumph of late 20th century's tech- 
nology, a prosumer digital camera. (Perhaps your archae 
ological research will tell you it DV has gone the way of 
Betamax and the brontosaurus.) But the most important 
tool we've left tor you in the time capsule i^ i sharp pen- 
cil with a good eraser, tor no matter what technology 
you use to make a film, it always starts by putting an 
idea down on paper. 

Rather than include an subjective list ot the "besl 

[anuan February AW THE INDEPENDENT 37 



"Rather than include a 
subjective list of the 'best 
independent films,' we 
cryogenically froze indie 
guru John Pierson," 
— Cathleen O'Connell 



independent films," we cryogenically 
froze indie guru John Pierson. When you 
unfreeze Mr. Pierson, he should be able to 
answer almost any questions you have. 

Finally, a plastic credit card. 
Something no independent filmmaker 
should be without in any millennium. 



Chris Eyre, feature director 

I needed an object to define film for the country's Y2K time capsule. 
It was a hot steamy night. No, actually, it was a frigid late afternoon. I 
sat thinking at The Village Idiot. A couple of swigs later, my thoughts 
turned to the mountains of the West, the wind and the smell of sweet- 
grass burning across the prairies where the plains were turning dor- 
mant and cold, just like here, inside the bar. I was feeling no pain as 
the New York sky rumbled from a distant thunderstorm passing over 
New Jersey or Queens. Suddenly it was black, and I remembered a 
quote by the late, great William Burroughs: "Boys,, when the crap 
begins to fly, get out of the way!" I was out of the way and then it came 
to me. I would create the perfect humanoid for the time capsule and 
call it, yes, Frankenflick. 

Frankenflick, a hermaphrodite hybrid born from the miseducated 
and confused mind of a 20th century American Indian man in New 
York. The humanoid will have the great film mind of Martin Scorsese, 
Will Sampson's face, Al Pacino's hair, Bette Davis' eyes, Jack 
Nicholson's smile, Uma Thurman's body, Jessica Lange's voice, Rock 
Hudson's ass, and Gene Kelly's legs. It would be a creature composed 
of celluloid flesh, with the blood of thousands of undistributable indie 
filmmakers running through its veins in Technicolor. Frankenflick will 
have a Bartlett's Book of Quotes imprinted into its head for use on game 
shows and at cocktail parties. Frankenflick' s first sentence will be a 
quote for life: 

When the Sun died, I went up to heaven and saw the Creator and all 
the people who had died a long time ago. The Creator told me to come 
back and tell my people they must be good and love one another, and 
not fight, or steal, or lie. He gave me this dance to give to the people. 

— Wovoka (1889) 
Then Frankenflick will cut-a-rug. 

Ruby Lerner, executive director, 
Creative Capital Foundation 

My Y2K time capsule would include: 

1) all Congressional records with any mention of the National 
Endowment for the Arts from the time of Reagan's election to the end 
of the millennium; 

2) the entire text of the Telecommunications Act of 1996; and 

3) the New York Times coverage of the Brooklyn Museum 
of Art's "Sensation" exhibit. 

Whoever finds this at the dawn of the next 
millennium will have archival evidence of the 
steady demise of the importance of free 
expression as a shared value at the end of 
this century. Those who unearth the cap- 
sule will also discover in these documents 
the systematic demonizing of artists, as 
well as an underlying agenda to attack the 
value and legitimacy of public space, in 
both its literal and figurative manifestations. 

38 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



"Whoever finds this at 
the dawn of the next 
millennium will have 
archival evidence of the 
steady demise of the 
importance of free 
expression as a shared 
value at the 
end of this century." 

—Ruby Lem< 




Speech, they will find, is free only when privatized or corporatized. 
The Telecomm-unications Act of 1996, which even Bob Dole called 
the biggest corporate welfare giveaway in the history of the country, 
handed over billions of dollars worth of our public airwaves to corpo- 
rate interests with few public interest requirements in return. 

Our researchers may be confused by late 20th century rhetoric glo- 
rifying the private sector as the locus of all 
that is good and the public sector as the 
embodiment of all that is wasteful and bad, 
especially by those who serve as publicly 
elected officials. Ironically, the public sec- 
tor origins of the primary driver of the 
twenty-first century economy, i.e. the 
Internet, could be a shocking discovery to 
our researchers. 

Mainly, these time capsule documents 
will clarify for our archivists how their 
world has come to be, with its individual- 
ized home entertainment fortresses con- 
trolled by the one remaining megacorpora- 
tion, the lone victor in the mid-millennium Corporate World Wars. 

Perhaps the recovery of the time capsule will spawn in our 
researchers a reconsideration of the value of public discourse that may 
be occasionally contentious. Perhaps it will also stimulate their desire 
to help foster a healthier relationship between the public and private 
sectors — one that respects what each sector does best. 

Elizabeth Peters, AIVF/FIVF executive director 

I would include an object that is already nearly extinct: a Steenbeck 
flatbed editor. The granddaddy of nonlinear editing systems, this work- 
horse has defined the editing process with exquisite simplicity since the 
advent of sound film. Even though I'm part of the problem (I've 
worked as an Avid assistant on my most recent jobs), I think it's a 
shame to see the unilateral shift to purely digital editing. Cutting on a 
flatbed is a tactile and intimate process, one that forces continual 
review of material and considered choices. It imposes discipline that 
clarifies the mind and opens it to creative potential. And the machine 
itself: what a wonderful metaphor for the editing process! You are con- 
fronted with a massive object; you lean forward and embrace it: gears 
lock, wheels spin in all different directions, your work progresses. As 
you gain mastery over the machine, you gain mastery over your mate- 
rial. What was once complex becomes simple and absolute; working 

the controls becomes second 
nature, just as your material is grad- 
ually shaved into its essential form. 
A flatbed is analog in the extreme: 
you see the literal engagement 
between sound and image; as the shutter revolves, you 
see the absent places between the frames. Already 
an entire body of emerging artists has been alien- 
ated from this experience. Sitting at my comput- 
er typing these words, I feel nostalgia for the 
whirr of the flatbed's motor, the rhythmic swish 
of plates, the definitive clack of the splicer, the 
smell of emulsion, the gleam of light from parts 
interior (revealing the mechanics of opera- 
tion), and most of all, the gentle blue image 
flickering on ground glass, providing teasing 
promise of the glorious experience to come — that 
of the projected work in its finished form. 



The Sounds of Earth record carried on 
the 1977 Voyager spaceship, containing 
the sounds of nature, music, and a 
message from President Jimmy Carter. 



Mark Crispin Miller, professor of Media Ecology, 
New York University 

If we're going to let the future know what "independent film" or "inde- 
pendent video" was like back in these good old days, we'll have to give 
posterity some sense of what we mean today by "independent." Exactly 
what was this work independent of! That question may not make sense 
even 20 years from now, much less a thousand, given the intoxicating 
speed with which the culture industries worldwide are now hyper-com- 
mercializing and converging — a trend that could enclose and gentrify, 
and so perhaps annihilate, the very ground of "independent" cultural 
production, visual and otherwise. (Digital advances may also make 
both "film" and "video" seem just as quaint to our remote descendants 
as, say, cuneiform appears to us, but that's another matter.) 

The best we might do to get the point across could be to salt away 
a range of visual works that itself starts to demonstrate the recent slow 
extinction of "independent" visions, genres, styles. We might do this by 
tracing the long evolution of certain avant-gardist attitudes or content 
into corporate product or decor. How, for example, have we moved (or 
been moved) from Karel Capek's 1920 satiric play R.U.R. to the semi- 
nal dystopias of Orwell and Huxley (while not film or video them- 
selves, such works are highly influential on practitioners of both) to 
Godard's Alphaville, Pasolini's 120 Days of Sodom, Ridley Scott's Blade 
Runner, and also Scott's famed faux-Orwellian TV spot for Macintosh? 

How did Brechtian Verfremdungseffekt get mainstreamed by, and in, 
the culture of TV? It used to stand out as a challenging and strikingly 
subversive doctrine. Now TV, movies, and the web, as well as maga- 
zines and billboards, all routinely smack us with a bastard version of it, 
literally everywhere we look — a cool bombardment based on no doc- 
trine, aesthetic, or politic, but only on the desperate daily propaganda 
struggle to "break through the clutter." For that matter, the full range 
of technical devices that once bespoke a radical departure from the 
seamless norm — devices like the jump cut, hand-held camera, or iron- 
ic non-synchronous narration — are stale tricks all too visible in count- 
less TV spots and music videos. A smart selection of tapes, disks, stills, 
and reels of film might show that such is what has happened by the 
time of this distracted fin de millenaire. 

Of course, the "independent" consciousness has, in its time, not 
enriched the margins only, but contributed to much of what is best 
within, or at least on the outskirts of, the mainstream spectacle. 
Moreover, it still does so even now, against all odds. To make this point, 
I'd also pack the time capsule with prints of Eyes Wide Shut (along with 
copies of the many bad reviews, which also tell us quite a lot), The 
Usual Suspects, Clockwatchers, Fast, Cheap and Out of Control, The Last 
Big Thing, Rushmore, Election, K, and Boogie Nights, among many oth- 
ers. This way, the viewers of the future may look back at us and see 
that there was more than co-optation going on. 

Stacey Spikes, director, 
Urbanworld Film Festival 

This time capsule would actually be a subterranean IMAX theater with 
a full THX surroundsound Dolby speaker system. We would then need 
one mummified projectionist for good luck, one bag of popcorn, one 
Diet Coke from the fountain, and the 10 greatest movies of all time: 
1. Baraka — I have never had a film completely change my life as this 
one has. It is the greatest film of all times. If you have not seen it, you 
have not lived. 




2. La Femme Nikita — Luc Besson is the man. I would list all of his films, 
but we will let Le Femme Nikita stand as a classic. 

3. Shaft — Need I say more? 

4. Baghdad Cafe — Gotta love this charming classic. This feel-good 
character study is a great rainy-day movie. And you gotta love that 
theme song. 

5. Blade Runner — I have seen this film more than any other and each 
time see a new film with new meaning. 

6. Pulp Fiction — The coolest film that was ever made. Period. 

7. Star Wars — This changed everything. 

8. Do the Right Thing — Breaking ground with substance. 

9. Pink Floyd: The Wall — The movie to which you did all the things 
that you will tell your kids to never do. 

10. Dumbo — The first film I ever saw, which made quite an impression. 
My mother had to explain to me for months that Dumbo's mother was 
only a character and did not really die. 

Rick Preh'nger, film archivist 

Time capsules are the conceptual art of history. Yet these exercises in 
unofficial remembrance tend to rely heavily on records produced by 
influential people and their organizations: newspapers, coins, programs 
from the burial ceremony, group pictures, etc. Since one now can pre- 
serve visually readable microimages of text, graphics, and data tor 
thousands of years on nickel-plated Norsam discs, I'd try tor what \\ .in- 
most ephemeral and unlikely to survive in libraries, archives, or private 
collections. Like 'zines on every subject, the more rant-tilled the belter. 
Independent media work galore. As much ot the Internet as I could 
cram into an aluminum cylinder. Lots ot visual documentation ot oui 
everyday environment, which changes too quickly tor us to keep track 
of. Recordings of phone calls, conversations, two-way radio chatter, 
nighttime street noises, the sounds o( shopping malls. Finally, i 
Leatherman, space blankets, magnetized needle, fishhooks, and mag 
nesium firestarter, just in case the lucky tinders happened to be in need 
of warmth, food, or shelter. 



l.uui.HA February -WY THE INDEPENDENT 39 



James Schamus, producer, Good Machine 

I'll choose simply one, if not representative, then I think exemplary, 
work: Todd Haynes' Superstar. This wonderfully conceived biopic of 
songstress Karen Carpenter is the site for a great many independent 
topoi. It's an outlaw movie — Todd never got the rights to the songs or 
for the use of the Barbie dolls who embody his characters. It melds fact 
and fiction, understands live action as a kind of animation, is queer in 
more senses of the word than the OED will ever imagine, makes high 
and low cultures shake hands and a few other appendages, is inspired 
freely from classical American avant-garde roots (Jack Smith, Kenneth 
Anger), Hollywood melodrama (Douglas Sirk et al), and film theory 
culture, is fascinated with and illuminates gender/body issues, neither 
ignores nor prostrates itself before narrative, and — it's really great. 



Ellen Schneider, executive producer, P.O.V. 

Late in the 20th century, a crop of talented independent filmmakers 
focused on riveting characters against backdrops of sweeping social 
issues. Audiences responded: sometimes moved to tears, sometimes 
jolted into action. I'd pack the following collection (as subjective and 
personal as the genre) into the battered suitcase from Deborah 
Hoffmann's Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter: 
1. Marlon Riggs' pink triangle tee shirt 

In the 1980s, celebrating the black/gay experience was taboo! (Earlier 
in the century, so were double beds for married TV couples.) Riggs' 

poetic video essay Tongues Untied 



'Til choose simply one, if not 
representative, then i think 
exemplary, work: Todd Haynes' 
Superstar." 

—James Schamus 



became both a rallying cry and a 
lightning rod. 

2. Juanita Buschkoetter's braces 
David Sutherland's six-hour series 
The Farmer's Wife triggered such 
profound empathy for the eco- 
nomic plight of family farmers that 
some viewers responded with their checkbooks. One example: a den- 
tist donated orthadontia to the main subject. 
3. Tom Joslin's S-VHS camcorder 

Small-format video cameras permitted the documentation of real life 
with minimal intrusion, but nothing captured love — in the age of the 
AIDS epidemic — the way Joslin's and Peter Friedman's Silverlake Life: 
The View from Here did. 

4 & 5. Arthur Agee's Converse sneakers and Barbara Kopple's 
nimble footwear 

Some filmmakers were so committed to telling these stories that they 
spent years following their characters. In Kartemquin Films' Hoop 
Dreams, aspiring basketball player Agee shows off the athletic shoes 
he's inscribed with the name of his hero Isaiah Thomas, and virtually 
comes of age on camera. Others risked their lives: Kopple and crew 
deftly dodged bullets directed at strikers while filming Harlan County, 
U.S.A. 

Todd McCarthy, chief film critic, Variety 

Whenever film critics are asked to select anything to take to a desert 
island, salt away, represent our time, and so on, the focus is invariably 
a 10-best list, the greatest/favorite/most important films of all time, the 
pictures you wouldn't want to live without. Then it becomes a ques- 
tion of how you narrow down the choices, between favorite directors, 
actors, eras, childhood memories, emotional milestones, official land- 
marks. But that's been done a thousand times, and there seems to be 



"What I believe is the 
most endangered 
aspect 

of the film world at 
this point ... is the 
filmgoing experience 
as we have known it 
for virtually the entire 
1900s." 

—Todd McCarthy 



little question now that, in some reduced 
form or another — video, DVD, and for- 
mats yet unknown — most of the films that 
currently exist will be preserved after a 
fashion. What I instead believe is the 
most endangered aspect of the film world 
at this point, one that may not survive 
even a decade into the new millennium, 
much less a century, is the filmgoing expe- 
rience as we have known it for virtually 
the entire 1900s — and the reasons why the movies became far and 
away the most popular communal pastime in human history. 

So what I would propose is building a capsule or a giant craft spa- 
cious enough to house several movie palaces of different sizes and 
designs, and an imaginative programmer inspired by the challenge of 
booking the right movies in the right theaters (based on the implica- 
tion inherent in this assignment, I shall restrict myself to American pic- 
tures) . Since silent films reigned for nearly 30 years of the century, they 
should be strongly represented, and I would propose a double bill of 
Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr. and Charlie Chaplin's City Lights, present- 
ed with live musical accompaniment for the former in a setting very 
much like the jewel-box Opera House in Telluride, Colorado. Radio 
City Music Hall would be reserved for audiences to experience musi- 
cals, from Golddiggers of 1 933 and The Wizard ofOz to Singin in the Rain 
and West Side Story. 

The sort of ornate, commodious, balconied theater that was the 
hallmark of nearly any reasonably-sized American town from the '30s 
through the mid-60s would be suitable for the general run of 
Hollywood product during that time, the perfect place to experience 
The Awful Truth and Casablanca, Notorious and Rebel without a Cause. 
Of all the theaters that showed 70mm films in roadshow engagements 
during the '60s, the ones where films looked best were the Michael 
Todd and Cinestage, virtual twins in Chicago with enormous screens 
and short projection throws — Lawrence of Arabia and 2001: A Space 
Odyssey could play there side -by-side in perpetuity. For smaller, more 
intimate pictures — for On the Waterfront, Shadows, Mean Streets, Annie 
Hall — you could scarcely do better than the old wood-paneled Plaza in 
Manhattan. And for specialists keen on a change of pace, we should 
transport a good, old-fashioned grind house — those on 42nd Street 
and on Market Street in San Francisco were the most rewardingly 
grungy in my experience — to show triple -bills of Westerns, war films, 
actioners, popcorn movies df all kinds, as well as a sticky-floored 
adults-only theater and a revival house — the daily-change double-bill 
Clark Theater in Chicago is the hands-down pick here. 

The point is that, while the films mentioned above, and thousands 
more, are very much with us and will continue to be, all the theaters 
invoked, and nearly all those like them, are gone. Soon, I believe, dig- 
ital home viewing systems will be so sophisticated and widespread that 
there really will be little motivation to venture out of the house to see 
anything but the most exceptional and spectacular productions, and 
even then in surroundings that are mostly commonplace and uniform. 
Viewing movies in theaters is already not what it used to be, and not 
too many years from now, attending the "cinema" will mostly be a pri- 
vate activity, and only a time capsule or machine could make it public 
again, the way it was when movies were born and flourished. 



40 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 




INCE 1991, WHEN HE JOINED THE STAFF OF VARIETY AS A SENIOR FILM CRITIC, EMMANUEL LEVY HAS BEEN A MAN ON THE MOVE — 
scurrying from film to film, festival to festival, and back and forth between his two regular jobs in two different states. For 
in addition to his Variety gig, Levy is a tenured full professor of film and sociology at Arizona State University. As such, 
he's among the rare breed that combines careers as an academic and as a staff critic on a major magazine. 
Five years ago, Levy set out on another dual track: teaching a course on independent film and writing a 600-page book 
tracing its themes and development. Cinema of Outsiders: The Rise of American Independent Film (New York University 
Press), Levy's sixth book, covers the course of independent film from 1977 to 1998, tracing the influence of Scorsese, 
Altman, and Cassavetes; the careers of Tarantino, the Coen brothers, Spike Lee, Ang Lee, Allison Anders, et 
al; their reinterpretation of classic film genres; and the rise of the New York school of film, regional cin- 
ema, and a new body of work from women, people of color, and gays and lesbians. 

The Independent caught up with Levy on Halloween, shortly after he was feted at the Museum 
of Modern Art during his book-signing tour. 

How did you first become interested in film? Did your parents take you to the movies? 

The book is dedicated to the memory of my mother, "who instilled in me a passion for 

film." We lived in austerity in Israel. There was no television until 1968, so movies were 

the most dominant form of entertainment. We didn't have much money to eat, but at 

least twice a week we went to the movies. So I saw all the John Wayne movies as a kid; 

» I remember very well the Westerns and the crime gangsters, and I had to write a book 

about John Wayne — which I did in the eighties, to go back to my boyish fascination with 

being a cowboy. 

I read recently that Israel still has one of the highest per capita populations of 

movie-goers in the world. It's one of the top three or four. At that time, we used to get 

European films before the U.S.! The first year I arrived here, in 1973, to do graduate 

work, I remember I'd already seen a lot of these movies in Israel and in Paris. So Israel 

was very much a movie country. Before it became Israel, it was dominated by the British, 

and they built these nice movie houses for themselves, and we inherited that. 

How many films did you screen in researching your book? 

It's hard to tell. Over 1,000. 1 analyzed at least 300. 1 took five years to research and write the book. 

The reason it is so big is because there's now a huge body of indie films. All of a sudden, we can talk 

ibout John Sayles as the director of 12 features — that's a lot. David Lynch has 10, Soderbergh, eight, 

and so on. But I benefited a lot by watching them chronologically, from their debut up to the 

moment the book went to print, which was March or April '99. 

Younger filmmakers tend to think of the independent film movement as having start- 
ed in the eighties with films like Stranger Than Paradise (1984), She's Gotta 
Have It (1986), and sex lies and videotape (1989). You start in 1977. 
Why? 

A lot of major directors began in the late seventies. David 
Lynch, Gregory Nava, Charles Burnett, Alan Rudolph. 
Also organizationally speaking, 1978 is the beginning of 
the IFP when the New York Film Festival programmed 
a sidebar — put together by Sandra Shulberg — and it was 
called the New American Independent Cinema. 

That became the Independent Feature Film Market. Also, 
AIVF was founded in 1975. 

Right. And in 1977 to 1979, John Sayles was mak- 
ing Return of the Secaucus Seven. 

There are four figures, all from NYU, who put 
independent cinema on a level ot commercial 
appeal: Jim Jarmusch, with Stranger than Paradise; 
Susan Seidelman, with Smithereens, the first 
American independent film to be shown in com- 
petition in Cannes; the Coen brothers in 1 *->8S 
with Blood Simple — drop-out> ot NYU; and Spike 
Lee. I know why some people consider l°S4, 'S^ 
as the beginning, but it's not. You ha\c to do jus- 
tice to people like Uivlvia \.i\.i and Victor 

January/February 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 41 



The whole motto of the book is that we cannot talk anymore about one Hollywood. We should talk 
about two Hollywoods: mainstream Hollywood and independent Hollywood. But it's Hollywood. 




Nunez, whose first film was in 1977 as well. 

I did not want to talk about Cassavetes, except as a influence, or 
Scorsese (also NYU). His late sixties movies are independent, hut I 
wanted to talk about the new cinema. But any beginning is arbitrary. 
Pink Flamingos, the earliest movie I discuss, was in 1972. How do you 
classify Shirley Clarke? Maya Deren? I wanted the new. It's definitely 
a late seventies phenomenon. 

How do you define 'independent' today, versus 20 years ago? 

I had, like, 300 pages on the definition, out of which 20 went into the 
book. Basically, there always have been two ways of defining indepen- 
dent cinema. One is by the way 
they're financed, produced, and 
made. Second, which is more intrigu- 
ing but much more difficult to define, 
is by the spirit, the independent spir- 
it. 

I wanted to write a book about 
small, low-budget movies that were 
made outside Hollywood. How low 
budget? The problematics of what 
we're talking about is really relevant, 
because I see the Independent Spirit 
Awards nominating films like 
Rushmore, a $15 million film made by 
Disney (Touchstone)! Mean Streets 
was distributed by Warner, and it was 
also developed by Warner. Whereas After Hours was released by a stu- 
dio, but it's an independent film. So do you go by the way it's made, or 
by the distributor? That's yet another complication. 

Yet there is such as thing as independent cinema. The whole motto 
of the book is that we cannot talk anymore about one Hollywood. We 
should talk about two Hollywoods: mainstream Hollywood and inde- 
pendent Hollywood. But it's Hollywood. 

In the book, you're pretty hard on independents. You write, "Indie films, as a 
whole, are not artistically ground-breaking or politically provocative. Despite 
offbeat characterizations, most indies lack unusual stories, experimental pac- 
ing, fractured narratives, or kinetic editing, to mention a few radical devices." 
Elsewhere you use the phrase "mainstream independent." 
Yeah. Happy, Texas is the epitome of that. In its theme and style, 
there's no independent spirit there. It's just a small budget Some Like 
It Hot, if you wish. 

When I talk to French filmmakers, it's interesting. They say, "I like 
very much that you don't talk about independent cinema as a 'move- 
ment', because in order to constitute a movement, you need an intel- 
lectual father." You need a platform, like Dogma 95. We don't have it, 
and I think it's a blessing. On the other hand, we don't have anything 
like Cahiers de Cinema, an organ that will crystallize the intellectual 
opinions. And that's why it's not a coherent movement. It's more 
loosely defined. In America cinema, directors do not come out of crit- 
icism; all the New Wave directors were critics. Here they come out of 
film schools. So maybe we don't have intellectual directors. 

Your chapter on gay and lesbian cinema was one of the strongest because it sit- 



uates this cinema in a context. It lays the groundwork with documentaries like 
Word is Out and The Celluloid Closet and it discusses the nonprofit infrastruc- 
ture — the film festivals, the alternative press, etc. — that paved the way for a 
gay and lesbian feature scene. 

While your book includes very much, for the most part it excludes the entire 
nonprofit sector — the documentaries, the experimental work, the media arts 
centers . . . 

My next book is on the documentaries. 

Was this omission for practical reasons, or do you really see the "new indepen- 
dent cinema" as being on a wholly separate track? 

I distinguish between the new American independent cinema and the 
avant-garde, experimental, underground. It is not political. We don't 
have people following the footsteps of Andy Warhol, who is not in the 
book, except in a footnote. Jonas Mekas is not in the book. There 
already are several books about the American underground. 

Yet Yvonne Rainer is in your book. 

Right, and Nina Menkes, because they made the festival circuit. And 
independent cinema is very much dependent on festivals — not just 
Sundance; there's a whole network. There's still an avant-garde, but I 
wanted to talk about movies that had exhibited publicly and gotten 
some recognition, and directors who have sustained careers. A lot of 
directors made one good movie, and we never heard from them again. 
They deserve as much recognition, and I apologize to them in public, 
but the book I submitted was 800 pages long! 

Now, there was a whole chapter on documentaries — 150 pages — 
that began also in the seventies with Barbara Kopple's Harlan County. 
I had 25 landmark documentaries, but the book was so huge they were 
taken out. I already have contracted with NYU to do a book about 
documentary, the work that's the equivalent of the new journalism. 

You make a point of the apolitical nature of indie features. In this respect, you 
see little difference between American indies and Hollywood. As you write, "Film 
after film suggests that any problem, political or economic, can be resolved by 
a charismatic individual." 

They share a fear and suspicion of politics. In indie cinema, we have 
only one major type of political film, and it is has to do with politics of 
identity and representation. I think every film Todd Haynes has made 
is very political; not just Poison, but Safe is a political film. But it's 
always done through an individual protagonist. Go Fish is also a politi- 
cal movie. It's about sexual identity, political representation, not about 
issues. It's all about 'How do I present myself to the world? How do I 
live?' Lifestyle; that's the politics. Not about the system: how do I 
change it, how do I fight? 

It's still about the individual. 

Oh, absolutely. I'm a sociologist, so I think this lack of politicized cin- 
ema reflects biases of Americans that prevail in society at large. 
Americans are not interested in politics; they're really not. Vietnam 
was a turning point; it increased suspicion. 

So the fact that indies are staying away from politics is closer to 
Hollywood, but they are talking about issues of identity. Sexual identi- 
ty is a major issue. A movie like Heavy is a political movie; it's about 
politics of the representation of obesity. That would not be handled by 
Hollywood. So there's still a difference between independent and 



42 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



Hollywood movies. The only political movies we see from Hollywood are the conspiracy movies, 
and they have to be camouflaged with a major star. There was a short cycle of movies about 
AIDS, actually; this is politics. But who would see Philadelphia without Tom Hanks? 

Does this lack of political filmmaking have to do with directors' aspirations or with financing? 

It's very hard to get financing; there's no audience for political movies. Even mainstream polit- 
ical movies fail. Bulworth was a major box office flop. 

How about Bob Roberts? 

It was a Paramount joint release and went to Cannes. Only $2 million. 

Wag the Dog! 

It did very well. Context, context, context. It came out during Bill Clinton's, you know ... it 
came at a very good time. But it had Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro! Imagine Wag the Dog 
with Philip Seymour Hoffman and William H. Macy. It would have been a great movie, but how 
many people would have seen it? There's no audience for political movies. Amistad was a fail- 
ure. Not a bad movie. Not great, but decent. Who wants to see a movie about slavery in 
America? For most Americans, you go to the movies to be entertained, not to be provoked. 
Unlike European cinema in many ways, you don't go to movies to engage in something. 

Your book looks at how indie filmmakers have utilized and revised existing genres, such as film noir, com- 
ing-of-age comedies, family dramas, etc. Can you speak of any genre that has been newly created in the past 
20 years? Or does all cinema today somehow build on forms created during the first 50 years of cinema? 

Excellent question. I cannot think of a genre that was invented. What indies will do is take an 
established genre and revise or change the conventions. So, for example, noir becomes neo noir. 
The screwball comedy could become, under Gregg Araki, something like gay screwball come- 
dies. Is the genre Tarantino launched a distinct genre or a subgenre of noir? Is "noir comedy" a 
new genre? It may be. Classic noir is not comic. This might be the only example. 

You made me think about something I'd not thought of before: what is the similarity between 
Neil LaBute, Todd Solondz, and Tarantino? Happiness may be a new genre — and American 
Beauty; we now see it in the studio system. Dark comedies about existential issues. There was 
always a streak of comedy noir, but the classic noir that we all champion was very serious. 

Almost every movie that I write about, it has become like a cliche: "A darkly comic view of 
family." The Ice Storm falls under this category, too. Do you consider the new kind of films that 
the Coens perfected, then Tarantino, then Todd Solondz and LaBute, a variation of an existing 
genre, or a distinct genre in its own right? Is Tarantino an innovator, or someone who steals or 
borrows from different genres? The package is fresh. Is Pulp Fiction a fresh movie or not? That 
would be the test. I would claim that it is, in the way that Kafka was stilted, just a bit of German 
Expressionism, a bit of Kafka, a bit of noir. It was a pastiche. There's a difference between pas- 
tiche and a combination of generic conventions that results in something new. 

Imagine this: it's the year 2040, you're finally retiring. As you accept your gold watch, you reflect back on 
cinema at the turn of the century. How would you characterize these times? Is this a Golden Age or the End 
of an Era? 

I think it's a good time to be a filmmaker. It's much easier to make movies now than ever before. 
What is harder is to find theatrical distribution. But I'm encouraged by the new technology — 
and frightened at the same time: that anyone in this country can make a movie for $15,000, and 
I will have to review it! I've actually had such anxiety dreams — nightmares — that I'm crushed 
by videocassettes falling down from the ceiling, and I'm buried. 

Hollywood, it's hard to tell. When we saw Mean Streets in '73, when we saw Jaws, we thought 
they were good movies. But when we look back now, they're brilliant, not good. Do we have 
cases that will change our perception? When Citizen Kane came out, it was dismissed for vari- 
ous reasons. Now for many of us it's the greatest American movie ever made. What would be 
the equivalent in the indie world? 

But by and large, I would say the nineties are very good. There's more money; directors are 
much smarter because of the way they are trained. They may know too much about film and too 
little about reality, like the Coens, but I think overall the film schools provide a positive func- 
tion. Critics are much more sophisticated than they were in the fifties and sixties. Film maga- 
zines like The Independent did not exist then. We have an institutional matrix. It's a very good 
time to be a filmmaker. 

Patricia Thomson is editor in chief of The Independent. 



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!*a j - 



STRAND 



RELEAS 



NG 




Marcus Hn & Jon 

Gerrans of Strand 

Releasing. 



BY LlSSA GlBBS 

1460 Fourth St., Ste. 302, 
Santa Monica, CA 90401; 
(310) 395-5002; fax: 395- 
2502; Strand@Strandrel. 
com; www.Strandrel.com; 
Contact: Jon Gerrans, co- 
president 

What is Strand Releasing? 

Strand is an independent 
entertainment company spe- 
cializing in the distribution of 
quality, review-, and festival-driven motion pictures. 

Who is Strand? 

Jon Gerrans and Marcus Hu, co-presidents; Gail 
Blumenthal, V.R distribution; Rajeev Malhotra, manag- 
er, sales and booking; Giovana Driussi, director of 
acquisitions; and Victor Syrmis, co-president, 
Strand/New Oz Productions. 

Total number of employees at Strand: 

Eight full-time (and countless individual per-project 
participants). 

How, when, and why did Strand come into being? 

We started at the Strand Theater in San Francisco — 
then owned by co-founding partner Mike Thomas (who 
departed three years ago), Marcus Hu, and me [Jon 
Gerrans] — with a foolish dream that this would be easy. 

Unofficial motto or driving philosophy behind 
Strand: 

If we don't enjoy it ("it" being the film, the people 
involved), we don't do it. We're wonderfully selfish in 
that way. 

What would people be most surprised to learn 
about Strand or its founders and/or key staff? 

Perhaps the breadth of what we actually do. We release 
10-15 pictures a year, operate a full-service video line, 
do broadcast licensing, and this year produced/co-pro- 
duced three pictures from a full development slate with 
some very talented filmmakers. 




How many works are in your collection? 

I haven't counted lately. It's somewhere between 130-150. 

Is there such a thing as a "Strand" film? 

John Waters described Strand Releasing as "the Grove 
Press of distribution," which was pretty cool, and why 
I'm recycling his quote. Hopefully a Strand film is one 
you would like to see, because you definitely are not 
going to see a studio distributing it. 

What types of works do you distribute? 

We try not to let the format, content, genre, or style dic- 
tate our decision (the audience does). Mostly we han- 



dle feature length, 35mm motion pictures, but we have 
successfully packaged short films (Boy's Life and Boy's 
Life 2) We distribute a lot of gay-themed pictures. Half 
of our slate is foreign language — from which country, it 
does not matter. We also have done a half-dozen re- 
releases. 

Best known title in Strand's collection: 

Tough question and it could also get me in a lot of trou- 
ble, but the obvious, although I don't hear the title asso- 
ciated with Strand very often, would be the re-release 
of Mike Nichols' The Graduate. More realistically 



44 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 




though, Andre Techine's Wild Reeds, Jean-Luc Godard's 
Contempt, and the shorts compilation Boy's Life. 

Other films and filmmakers you distribute: 

Gregg Araki's Totally F***ed Up, Jon Jost's All the 
Vermeers in New York, John Maybury's Love is the 
Devil, Alison Maclean's Crush and Contempt, Brian 
Sloan's / Think I Do, and Benoit Jaquot's A Single Girl. 

What drives you to acquire the films you do? 

It always comes down to a 
couple of basic points: do 
we like the film; would we 
be proud to be associated 
with it; do we believe it will 
receive a generally positive 
critical reception; is there a 
marketing angle which we 
feel we could successfully 
exploit; and last but not 
least, the nasty part, do we 
believe it can generate 
enough interest to refill the 
coffers? 

Is Strand also involved in 
co-production or co- 
financing of works? 

Strand has a separate 
company to produce films 
called Strand/New Oz 
Productions (a partnership 
with Victor Syrmis' New Oz 
Films). The idea is to pro- 
duce films that can either 
be sold or distributed by 
Strand Releasing. This year 
we produced or co-pro- 
duced three films including 
Psycho Beach Party, a co- 
production with Red Horse 
films, directed by Robert 
Lee King (whose short film 
The Disco Years we distrib- 
uted as one of the Boy's 
Life films), based on 
Charles Busch's off- 
Broadway play. We were 
also involved in the production of Australian director 
Paul Cox's Innocence and Chiam Bianco's Split. We 
have been associated with seven other productions 
including Gregg Araki's The Living End (producer) and 
Brian Sloan's / Think I Do (executive producer). 

What's your basic approach to releasing a title? 

Define the audience, gauge the potential commercial 
interest, create a campaign to match, determine the 
appropriate theater, then fight to get it. 

Where do Strand titles generally show? 





You don't catch our titles at the shopping mall. Thank 
God for the Landmark theater chain, Laemmie Theaters, 
the Quad in New York, and the independent arthouses 
across the country. On a successful release, we will 
play in over 100 of these theaters in 100 different cities 
(although it can take 12 months to do so). 

Where do you find your titles and how should film- 
makers approach you for consideration? 

Most of our films come from film festival screenings — 
Sundance, Cannes, Berlin, and Toronto — where we 
more often get the first exposure. Unfortunately it takes 
three to six months before the sales agent acknowl- 
edges that Miramax has "officially" passed, along with 
Miramax $$$$, and our offer is finally accepted. We 
often work with producers/directors at the earlier 
stages, and prefer to do so. Approach us through your 
lawyer, agent, mutual friend, or the Internet, but please, 
no coldcalls. 

Range of production budgets of titles in your collec- 
tion: 

From Frisk at $20,000, to others at $10 million. It real- 
ly doesn't matter what the budget is to us (that's the 
investors' headache). We treat the film based on what 
we believe it will do commercially, rather than what it 
costs to get there. 

Biggest change at Strand in recent years: 

I can finally afford a really soft chair with a high back, 
which gave me the posture to co-produce three titles 
this year. 

Most important issue facing Strand today: 

Besides staying in business, it is finding a better way to 
bridge the gap between studio-owned independents 
and companies like ourselves. This is not easy. 

Where will Strand be 10 years from now? 

Besides finally replacing my 10-year-old chair, hopeful- 
ly we will be doing the same thing, on a larger scale, 
and working directly with the filmmakers we admire. 

You knew Strand Releasing had made it as a com- 
pany when . . . 

our bank called up and asked if we would like a line of 
credit. Actually, it took five years before we were able to 
quit our temp jobs and work full-time at what we love. 

Best distribution experience you've had lately: 

Nothing feels better than acquiring a picture that 
nobody else wanted and making it a success. Marcus 
Hu had pursued Ferzan Ozpetek's Italian/Turkish pro- 
duction Steam: The Turkish Bath for over a year before 
the rights were finally secured. The picture has grossed 
close to $1 million over the past 12 months, receiving 
very favorable reviews, strong exhibition support, and 
big fat smiles from everyone at Strand. 

Other companies you admire and why: 

We've acquired a number of pictures from both Good 
Machine and Killer Films, both companies which we 



greatly admire (the Grove Press of producers). Zeitgeist, 
Kino, New Yorker, and Cowboy are some distributors, 
who, like Strand, do what they do because they love it. 

The best film you've seen lately was . . . 

The other day our office took a field trip to watch Being 
John Malkovich. I couldn't stop laughing and the fol- 
lowing day at work we were quoting lines. 

The difference between Strand and other distribu- 
tors of independent films is . . . 

probably the volume. We may release similar titles, but 
our staff is slightly larger, which allows us to distribute 
(all the way through broadcast) and produce more titles 
per year than other "similar" companies. 

If you could give independent filmmakers only one 
bit of advice it would be to . . . 

please, please be ORIGINAL. You can't imagine how 
many films we screen that say exactly the same thing 
the previous year's independent "hit" said. 

Upcoming titles to watch for: 

We're currently negotiating on four titles. Of course keep 
an eye out for Psycho Beach Party, the satire on the 60s 
beach movie involving a split personality surfer- 
wannabe named Chicklet, which stars Lauren Ambrose, 
Thomas Gibson, Matt Keeslar, Nicholas Brendon, and 
Kathleen Robertson, and written by Charles Busch from 
his stage play. Also Gough Lewis' documentary Sex.- The 
Annabel Chong Story, Coky Giedroyc's Stella Does 
Tricks, from the U.K., and John S. Curran's Praise, from 
Australia, to name a few. 

The future of independent film distribution in this 
country is one in which . . . 

we're going to need the so-called "new media" to help 
breathe additional monetary life back into the business. 
Too many of us are struggling and giving up, which 
equates to fewer choices for filmmakers. The studio 
independents cannot financially justify the smaller 
films and the maverick distributors are not surviving on 
box-office revenue alone. With video revenue evaporat- 
ing and broadcast revenue minimal, the future for the 
second-tier distributors lies in, I believe, the future of 
the new media. 

If you weren't distributing films, what would you be 
doing? 

Selling popcorn at a movie theater. 

Famous last words: 

"Would you like butter with your popcorn?" 

Distributor FAQ is a column conducted by fax questionnaire 
profiling a wide range of distributors of independent film and 
video. Send profile suggestions to Lissa Gibbs. c/o The 
Independent, 304 Hudson St., 6 ft. New York, NY 10013, or 
drop an email to lissag@earthlink.net 

Lissa Gibbs is a contributing editor to The Independent and 
former Film Arts Foundation Fest director. 



January lehru.u'v 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 45 



CSSSE^ 



THE INTERNATIONAL FILM 
FINANCING CONFERENCE 




IFFCON, 360 Ritch St., 
2nd fl., San Francisco, 
CA 94107; (415) 281- 
9777; fax: 495-2381; 
info@iffcon.com; 
www.iffcon.com 

What is IFFCON? 

IFFCON [International 
Film Financing Conf- 
erence] is an annual 
conference in San Francisco with a dual purpose: to 
educate filmmakers about financing independent films 
in today's global marketplace, and to facilitate direct 
contact between independent filmmakers and interna- 
tional financiers, commissioning editors, co-producers, 
and distributors. 

When and why did it come into being? 

Michael Ehrenzweig and I [Wendy Braitman] inaugurat- 
ed IFFCON in 1994. Prior to that time, I had been 
attending CineMart in Rotterdam for years and always 
found it a valuable forum. In 1993, Michael and I repre- 
sented the film The Celluloid Closet at CineMart and 
were ultimately successful in securing a deal with Arte 
for co-financing. It was on the long plane ride home 
from the Netherlands following CineMart that the idea 
for IFFCON was born. The plan was to launch a humane 
co-production market specifically targeted at North 
American independent producers with projects in devel- 
opment. And critical to the plan was for San Francisco 
to be the host city, not only because it's one of North 
America's most beautiful, but because this is where 
Michael and I live. 

What types of alliances has IFFCON formed with 
other international markets? 

IFFCON has alliances with the Pusan Promotion Plan in 
Korea, CineMart in Rotterdam, and IFP's No Borders. In 
general, these alliances were formed to share and pro- 
mote selected international projects in development 
through our respective events. Specifically, we are very 
pleased that the upcoming edition of CineMart has 
reserved a slot for a project from IFFCON 2000. 

What distinguishes IFFCON from these other mar- 
kets? 

The signature of IFFCON is found in its intimacy: only 60 
independent filmmakers are accepted into the full 
three-day event, with a fairly even ratio of "buyers" and 
"sellers." It is the only event of its kind not connected 
to a larger screening component, which helps contribute 



by Michelle Coe 

to its cozy atmosphere. At IFFCON, our main commit- 
ment is to the producer — some of the other markets 
are more auteur-driven. And with San Francisco as 
IFFCON's host city, away from the industry hubs of LA 
and NY we find everyone seems more generous to share 
information and contacts. 

The driving philosophy behind IFFCON is . . . 

First of all, to de-stress the extremely stressful busi- 
ness of looking for financing. And our loftier goal is to 
open doors between independent producers and the 
international industry, persuading both to participate in 
a forum in which they get to know each other, develop 
relationships, and forge financial partnerships that are 
not dependent upon nonprofit subsidy. 

Briefly, how is IFFCON structured? 

IFFCON begins with Open Day, by presenting 
overview panels that cover a range of introduc- 
tory topics. With registration open to the public, 
Open Day draws some 400 attendees. Despite 
this large number, Open Day maintains a con- 
tact-friendly atmosphere. The conference 
moves to deeper levels of specificity #** 
and personal contact during the fol- 
lowing two days, held at public 
television affiliate KQED. These 
two days are limited to the 
60 producers accepted 
through the selection 
process 
Programming 
includes 
workshops, 
panel dis 



46 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 




cussions 
roundta 

bles, and private meet- 
ings. Social events, 
including a closing night 
film and reception, are 
interspersed throughout 
to offer participants 
opportunities to develop 
professional relation- 
ships in a personal set- 
ting. 

Does the applicant or 
the buyer choose who 
they meet with for their 
private meetings? 



Before the conference, buyers preview the IFFCON 
dossier, which profiles the 60 selected producers and 
their projects. They may then request as many private 
meetings as they would like with the producers of their 
choice. The producers are also allowed to schedule one 
private meeting of their choice from a select group of 
buyers. 

Who are some of the funding entities and broad- 
casters that attend IFFCON? 

TV buyers: Channel 4, BBC, NHK, Arte, HBO, PBS, The 
Learning Channel, Arts & Entertainment, Bravo/IFC. 
Film Companies: Miramax, New Line, Fox, Strand 
Releasing, USA Films, Alliance Atlantis Com- 
munications, TiMe Film and TV Produktions, Zero Films, 
Fiaut et Court, plus sales agents and co-producers from 
Europe and Asia. 

What types of producers attend? Are there restric- 
tions on an IFFCON applicants' qualifications (e.g., 
genre, geography, medium)? 

Producers of both fiction and nonfiction features 
attend, all with varying levels of experience. There are 
no restrictions aside from the requirement 
that producers must be from North 
America and project proposals must be 
submitted in English. Producers working 
in all film/video formats are eligible. 
Producers from outside North America are 
included only by special invitation. 

Are producers invited or is it open 
registration? 

IFFCON extends an open call to U.S. 
and Canadian producers with pro- 
jects in development for which they 
are seeking international financing 
or co-production. A Selection 
Committee reviews applications 
and recommends up to 60 of the 
most promising projects. 

How do you select the filmmak- 
ers? 

Hundreds of filmmakers submit 

synopses, personnel biographies, 

and budget information of 

their fiction and non-fiction 

projects to IFFCON each 

^_ year. 

Sixty are 
chosen 
by a 
Selection 
Advisory Committee of 
North American develop- 
ment executives, based on 
the applicant's readiness to take 
advantage of the opportunity and the project's 
appropriateness for international markets. 



From Beefcake, 

Thorn Fitzgerald's 

homage to muscle mags. 



What is the ratio of applicants to projects selected? 

We had close to 300 applicants this year, and we accept 
60 — so I guess that's 1 out of 5. 

What can producers expect to get out of IFFCON? 

I'll start by saying what producers cannot expect to get 
out of IFFCON, which is an immediate deal. But produc- 
ers can expect ample opportunities — both formal and 
informal — to meet key development executives from 
around the world who are looking to finance and/or 
acquire North American films. They will meet their pro- 
ducing peers and have the chance to learn about inter- 
national financing, distribution, and sales. Participants 
will find a relaxed atmosphere in which to pitch their 
projects, and be fed the best of Californian food and 
drink. 

Do you track projects once they leave 
IFFCON? If so, what percentage of pro- 
jects get funding as a result of con- 
nections made at IFFCON? 

The Alumni Project, now being developed 
through a planning grant from the 
Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, 
will provide: a communications network 
to track the progress of alumni and their 
projects, promote innovative partner- 
ships, report success stories of indepen- 
dent producers, and increase exposure of 
these filmmakers in ways that will 
enhance their potential to form success- 
ful new alliances. Information about alumni and net- 
working resources will eventually be made available 
through IFFCON's website. 

Can you mention a few projects funded through IFF- 
CON? 

Here are some alumni that we're thrilled to have helped: 
Thorn Fitzgerald, Dreux Ellis (Beefcake); Sharon 
McGowan {Better Than Chocolate); Lynn Hershman, 
Henry Rosenthal {Conceiving Ada); Dan Cogan (The 
Lifestyle); Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman (Pink Triangle). 
What advice do you give applicants to make their 
project stand out from the others? 
First and foremost: have a really great, original idea. 
And with that, a lot will be forgiven. After that, some of 
the basics: good simple writing; no typos; no reduced 
type; no small margins. I know it sounds banal, but it 
makes a huge difference. Having some money already 
in place helps, as does talent and/or crew already 
attached. And the critical element is a producer who 
can inspire confidence in the financier that the film will 
actually get made, and made well. 

Does your staff offer consultations prior to IFFCON 
on how to pitch a project? What basic pitching 
advice do you extend to producers? 

Though there are no staff consultations, transcripts of 
previous pitching sessions are available from the "IFF- 
CON Shop" at www.iffcon.com. Producers are advised 



by the staff before the conference to keep their pitches 
short, to allow time for questions and feedback. The 
most valuable advice comes from buyers and other 
industry guests, who help producers sharpen their 
pitching skills during pitch roundtables. These roundta- 
bles consist of 5 or 6 producers each allotted 10 min- 
utes to pitch their projects, answer questions, and 
receive feedback from a small audience of buyers. 

What is a common mistake producers make when 
trying to interest potential funder? 

A common pitching mistake is to tell too many details of 
the story, rather than a brief and compelling overall 
concept. In the words of Joe Pichirallo from Fox Search- 
light, a great educator of pitching a story, "It's not impor- 




moved forward because of IFFCON. 

How has IFFCON evolved with the increase of inde- 
pendent projects in an overcrowded marketplace? 

IFFCON remains intimate despite the increase of pro- 
jects in the marketplace. For IFFCON 2000, we will have 
our first-ever keynote address by Jack Lechner, former- 
ly of Miramax, Channel 4, and HBO, who will be speak- 
ing to that very issue — a kind of "where do we go from 
here?" 

What would people most be surprised to learn 
about IFFCON and/or its staff? 

Putting on IFFCON is like financing and producing a 
low-budget movie every year, and that our core staff (as 
many as five at the height of pre-produc- 
tion) works together in an office the size of 
a shoebox. Another surprise: each and 
every staff member is a supermodel in 
his/her spare time. 

Which financing companies or broad- 
casters do you most admire for their 
ability to work with independent pro- 
ducers and take a strong project to the 
next level? 

I'll keep my answer limited to some previ- 
ous IFFCON participants: Alliance, Channel 
4, ZDF, HBO, Time and Zero Films from 
Germany, Haut et Court from France, ITVS, 
Strand, Open City Films, among others 



tant that we hear the specifics, but there has j^j-' 
to be a progression, and a quick one. Starts out Ksi 
here — boom — crisis, and resolution." 

What advice can you give producers on 
using IFFCON to find the right funding or 
co-production partner for their projects? 

We print an Industry Directory with bios of all 
industry participants so that producers will 
know who they are pitching to. We also have 
panels and roundtable discussions with buyers 
to enable producers to better familiarize them- 
selves with potential partners. And finally, we 
have an incredibly hospitable staff willing to 
help as much as possible. 

Do all the buyers participate in Buyers Best 
Picks? Did those projects that were men- 
tioned for their obvious potential in the marketplace 
usually get picked up by IFFCON buyers? 

IFFCON 99 was the inauguration of Buyers Best Picks, 
and we were quite pleased with the results. This forum 
features selected buyers being asked to list their 
favorite projects at the conference. IFFCON seems to 
lend itself to candor, so the selected buyers were able 
to talk thoughtfully and honestly about projects, and the 
same projects got mentioned again and again. And I'm 
pleased that a number of those projects have since 




From Jennifer M. Taylor and Vicky Funan's 
hybrid documentary Paulina. 



Famous last words: 

I just heard this today from Michael Lewis, who wrote 
an acclaimed new book about Netscape founder Jim 
Clark: "Chance favors the prepared mind." 

Funder FAQ is a column conducted by fax questionnaire pro- 
filing a wide range of funders of independent film and video. 
Send profile suggestions to michelle@aivf.org 

Michelle Coe is program & information services director at AIVF. 



January February 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 47 



by Scott Castle 

listings do not constitute an endorsement. we 
recommend that you contact the festival 
directly before sending cassettes, as details 
may change after the magazine goes to press, 
deadline: 1st of the month two months prior 
to cover date (march 1 for may issue). include 
festival dates, categories, prizes, entry fees, 
deadlines, formats & contact info. send to: 
festivals@aivf.org 

Domestic 

athens international film and video festival, april 

30-May 7, OH. Deadline: Feb. 14. 27th annual fest acknowl- 
edging current technical possibilities in film/video production. 
Each entry is pre-screened by a committee of artists. Works 
w/ high regard for artistic innovation, sensitivity to content & 
personal involvement w/ the medium are welcomed. Cash 
prizes & production services awarded to competition winners 
in each category, incl. narrative, doc, experimental & anima- 
tion. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Preview on 1/2" 
NTSC, 3/4" U-matic & 16mm prints are acceptable. Preview 
on VHS. Entry fees: $35 plus SASE/insurance. Contact: AIFVF, 
Athens Center for Film & Video. Box 388 Rm. 407, 75 W. 
Union St., Athens, OH 45701; (614) 593-1330; fax: 597- 
2560; bradley@ohiou.edu; www.cats.ohiou.edu/~filmfest/ 

ATLANTA FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, mid-May, GA. Deadline: 
Feb. 23rd annual fest seeks independently produced shorts & 
features in the following cats: animation, narrative, doc, stu- 
dent & experimental. All lengths, all formats. Awards: $20,000 
in services & equip, awarded in several cats. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, super 8, 3/4", 1/2". Preview on VHS. Entry fees: $40 
(individual/nonprofit); $30 (IMAGE members/students); $50 
(distributor/for profit); add $5 for foreign. Contact: AFVF, 
Genevieve McGillicuddy, Fest Dir., IMAGE Film/Video Center, 
75 Bennett St., Ste. Nl, Atlanta, GA 30307; (404) 352-4254; 
fax: 352-0173; afvf@imagefv.org; www.imagefv.org 

AVIGNON/NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL. April 24-30, NY. 
Deadline: Feb. 25 RECONTRES CINEMATOGRAPHQUES 

EURO-AMERICAINES, June 22-27, France. Deadline: May 
12. 6th NYC spring fest is the American version of the 17- 
year-old Avignon Film Fest. Both events feature top line-up of 
U.S. & French film premieres, retrospectives, VIP encounters, 
seminars & fetes. Audience vote decides 4 winners; awards 
total $80,000 in prizes to 2 winning feature directors & 2 
shorts directors in NYC. In Avignon, 3 winning feature direc- 
tors share $80,000 in prizes w/ fest accepting films from 
other European filmmakers for 1st time. Any style or genre. 
Formats: 35mm & 16mm. Preview on VHS (NTSC, PAL or 
SECAM). Entry fee: $25. Contact: Jerome Henry Rudes, 
General Director, French-American Center, Inc., 198 Ave. of 
the Americas, New York, NY 10013; (212) 343-2675; fax: 
343-1849; jhr2001@aol.com; www.francetelecomna.com 

BAC INTERNATIONAL FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, June 6- 
12, NY. Deadlines: March 15; March 31 (late). Brooklyn Arts 
Council presents 34th annual fest to be screened free at var- 
ious venues throughout city, incl. BMA & BAM. Narrative, doc, 
experimental & animation works accepted in following cats: 
feature (over 70 min.), short, student (college) & student (K- 



12). Formats: Beta, 16mm, 35mm. Preview on VHS. Entry 
fees: $10 (K-12); $25 (student); $50. Add $15 for late dead- 
line. Contact: BACFVF, Brooklyn Arts Council, 195 Cadman 
Plaza W„ Brooklyn, NY 11201; (718) 625-0080; fat 625- 
3294; bacal95@aol.com; www.artswire.org/baca 

BALTIMORE'S QUEER FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, Sept. 9- 

19. MD. Deadline: Feb. 28. Fest accepting short & feature- 
length narrative, doc, experimental films, videos & animation. 
Purpose of fest is to exhibit work by, about & of interest to les- 
bian, gay, bisexual & transgendered people around the world. 
Formats: 1/2" S-VHS, VHS or 3/4" Beta. Contact: BQFVF, Chris 
Lines; (410) 882-6470; queerfilm@juno.com; www. 
members.home.net/b926w/queerfilm.html 

CALIFORNIA SUN INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FESTIVAL, 

April, CA. Deadline: Feb. 28. 3rd annual fest seeks work in tra- 
ditional animation, computer animation & experimental anima- 
tion for screenings in L.A. area. Program will be selected by 
panel incl. top industry animators. Awards incl. 
"The Golden Sun" for best of fest & "Silver Stars" 
for top work in each cat. Formats: digital, 35mm, 
16mm, S-8, Beta SR 3/4" U-matic, 1/2". Entry 
fees: $20 (student); $30 (ind. short); $50 (studio 
short); $75 (ind. feature); $95 (studio feature). 
Contact: CSIAF, Attn. Liane Polosky/Vidimation, 
Art Dept-8300, CA State Univ., Northndge, CA 
91330; (818) 382-4545; fax: 677-3046; 
videoart@csun.edu; www.csun.edu/animate 



SOUTHERN BELLE 



CAROLINA FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, March 
15-19, NC. Deadline: Feb. 18. 10th annual fest 
held at the Univ. of N. Carolina at Greensboro. 
Continuing goal is to exhibit works of ind. artistry 
& personal vision. This year's theme is "Futuro- 
scope: Visions of the Future." Fest accepts work 
in all genres & cats, incl. animation, doc, exp., 
narrative & student short. Projects of all lengths 
& originating on all formats accepted. Awards of 
$2,500 in cash & Kodak film stock. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, 8mm, Beta SR 1/2". Preview 
on NTSC VHS. Entry fees: $25 (student); $35. 
Contact: CFVF, Dahron Johnson, 100 Car- 
michael Bldg., Box 26170, UNCG, Greens- 
boro, NC 27402; (336) 334-4197; fax: 334- 
5039, cfvf@uncg.edu; www.cfvf.cjb.net 

CONDUIT DIGITAL FEST, mid-March, TX. 
Deadline: Feb. 15. 4th annual fest cele- 
brates the convergence of various media & 
computing technologies by offering showcase of 
cutting-edge digital technology from around the 
world. Fest features digital shorts, animation & 
feature films of any genre. Any full-motion video 
sequences from computer-gaming will be con- 
sidered. Fest will showcase these highly original 
works in a cinema setting utilizing a digital pro- 
jector. Fest incl. panels, Q&A sessions, screen- 
ings, parties & live performances. Formats: 
Betacam, Mini-DV, VHS, S-VHS, Hi-8, (prefer 
not to receive DigiBeta). Preview on 1/2" VHS 
(NTSC). No entry fee. Contact: Conduit, 906 E. 
5th St. Ste. 103. Austin TX, 78765; (512) 485- 
3147; info@conduitfest.com; www.conduitfest.com 



FLORIDA FILM FESTIVAL, June 9-18, FL. Deadlines: Feb. 25; 
March 24 (late). 9th annual 10-day fest featuring foreign & 
U.S. indie films, seminars, midnight movies, celebrations & 
special guests. Held at Enzian Theater, major indie nonprofit 
cinema, fest has evolved from exhibition-only fest to juried 
competition. Cats: feature, short, doc. Awards incl. Jury Award 
in each cat. & Audience Award. Entries for competition must 
have at least 51% U.S. funding. Features must be 50 min. or 
more. Fest sponsors sidebars, special events, seminars & 
receptions. Formats: 35mm & 16mm. Preview on VHS. Entry 
fees: $30 (feature); $15 (short); add $15 for late deadline. 
Contact: FFF, Matthew Curtis, Program Dir, Enzian Theatre, 
1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, FL 32571; (407) 629-1088; 
fax: 629-6870; filmfest@gate.net; www.enzian.org 

HOUSTON INT'L FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL/WORLDFEST- 
HOUSTON, April 7-16, TX. Deadline: Feb. 15. Large fest w/ 
many competition cats, now in 33rd yr. Only totally indie film 
accepted, no major studios or distribs accepted, only new, 

indie features & short films. 

At 33 years, oldest film fes- 
tival operating under the 
same continuous manage- 
ment. Awards: Remi 
Statuette is Grand Prize for 
top fest winners. Gold & 
Silver Lone Star Awards & 
Framed Awards, associated 
market for features, shorts, 
docs, video, ind./experimen- 
tal, new media, music video 
& TV. Student Awards 
Program offers $2,500 cash 
for grand prize & $500 cash 
& $2,500 of Kodak raw 
stock 35/16mm film for best 
student film. Scripts & 
screenplays also have com- 
petition. Cats incl. the- 
atrical features; film & 
video production; short 
subjects; experimental; 
super 8; screenplays & 
new media. Fest also 
offers 3-day seminars on 
writing screenplays, pro- 
ducing & directing, plus 
distribution & finance. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 
3/4", 1/2", Beta, PAL, NTSC, 
Secam, super 8 (on VHS 
videotape). Entry fees: $45- 
$150; market fee: $300. 
Entry forms avail, on web 
site. Contact: Worldfest- 
Houston, Entry Director, Box 
56566, Houston, TX 77256; 
(713) 965-9955; (800) 524- 
1438; fax: 965-9960; 
worldfest@aol.com; 
www.worldfest.org 



The Atlanta Film and 
Video Festival has high- 
lighted local and regional 
film- and videomakers for 
nearly a quarter century 
and is the largest and 
longest-running festival in 
the Southeast. The fest has 
exploded in popularity 
recently, tripling in atten- 
dance over the last five 
years. Atlanta's IMAGE 
Film & Video Center, a 
nonprofit media arts orga- 
nization, helps to present 
the festival. Their head- 



owcase of short 
y Georgian artists: 
Local Lounge. Last year's 
event was the largest one 
to date, with over 150 fea- 
tured works, 34 of them 
Georgian, and 42 featured 
artists in attendance. The 
fest's juried competition 
included notable jurors 
Gill Holland, Lisanne 
Skyler, and Elvis Mitchell. 

See listing. 



JOHNS HOPKINS FILM FESTIVAL. April 13-16, MD. Deadline: 
Jan. 15; Jan. 29 (late). 3rd annual fest, presented by Johns 



48 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



Hopkins Film Society, is a 4-day, multi-venue extravaganza. 
Last year's test drew over 2,200 attendants & showed over 
100 films. Fest will feature panels, speakers, ind. distribu- 
tors & lots of parties. Cats: narrative, doc, animation, exper- 
imental, short. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, all video & DV. 
Preview on VHS (NTSC). Entry fees: $25 (early); $35 (final). 
Entry form avail, on web site. Contact: JHFF, 3003 N. Charles 
St., Apt. 406A, Baltimore, MD 21218; (410) 516-2517; 
nobones@jhu.edu; www.jhu.edu/~jhufilm/fest/ 

L.A. FREEWAVES, Nov., CA. Deadline: Jan. 31. 7th annual 
fest seeks videos, films, CD-ROM, web sites, culture jams, 
public media by artists, activists & mediamakers. Cats: 
experimental, narrative, doc, art or animation to be consid- 
ered by 10 curators for public access TV programs, screen- 
ings at MOCA, Filmforum & other art venues. Also looking for 
community media activities, public art media projects, mul- 
timedia installations & performances, youth media works, 
video bus tours in LA, messages for public electronic signs, 
blimps, etc. Entry fee: $10 (except students). Formats: VHS, 
3/4", Beta-SR URL & Mac-compatible CD-ROM. Send 
resume or bio & contact info to: LAF, 2151 Lake Shore Ave., 
Los Angeles, CA 90039; (323) 664-1510; fax: 664-1577; 
freewaves@aol.com; www.freewaves.org 

MIAMI GAY AND LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL, April 12-16, FL. 
Deadline: Jan. 15. 2nd annual fest is looking for work of all 
genres, lengths & formats incl. dramatic, doc & experimental 
works, by, about &/or of interest to lesbian, gay, bisexual & 
transgendered communities. Last year's test drew audiences 
of over 5,000, w/ films screened from around the world. Works 
must be Miami premieres; awards given in numerous cate- 
gories. Formats: 16mm & 35mm. Preview on VHS. Entry fee: 
$25. Contact: MGLFF, 1521 Alton Rd., #147, Miami Beach, FL 
33139; (305) 534-9924; fax: 535-2377; festivalinfo® 
the-beach.net; www.miamigaylesbianfilm.com 

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, 

April 7-22, MN. Deadline: Feb. 1. 18th annual fest is the 
largest film event in the upper midwest, bringing in more for- 
eign & American ind. films to MN than any other film org. or 
event. Program is predominantly foreign, focusing on 
Scandinavian & Eastern Europe films, especially those w/ 
politically relevant themes. Emerging filmmakers section is 
showcase for self-distributed, ind. filmmakers; entries are 
selected by a jury in cats: short fiction, short doc, feature doc 
& feature doc. Awards: Emerging Filmmaker awards & 
Audience "Best of the Fest" Awards. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 
VHS. Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $35 (shorts, under 40 min.); 
$50 (features). Contact: MSPIFF, Univ. Film Society, 2331 Univ. 
Ave. SE, Ste. 130B, Minneapolis, MN 55414; (612) 627-4431; 
fax: 627-4111; filmsoc@tc.umn.edu; www.ufilm.org 

NANTUCKET FILM FESTIVAL, June 21-25, MA. Deadline: 
April 14 (film); March 10 (screenplay competition). 5th 
annual fest focuses on screenwriters & their craft, presents 
feature films, short films, docs, staged readings, Q&A w/ 
filmmakers, panel discussions & Morning Coffee With... 
series. Writers are encouraged to present their films & 
works-in-progress & get feedback from other screenwriters 
& filmmakers. Entries must not have had commercial distri- 
bution or U.S. broadcast. Awards: Tony Cox Award for 
Screenwriting Competition; entry must be screenwriter's 
original, unproduced work; Audience award for best feature 
and best short, best new filmmaker (writer/director award). 



CALL FOR ENTRIES 

5TH ANNUAL STONY BROOK FILM FESTIVAL 

July 1 9 - 29, 2000 

Staller Center for the Arts 

State University at Stony Brook, Long Island, NY 

Competitions in 1 6mm and 35mm films including 
features, shorts, documentary and animation. 
Largest venue (1 ,000+ seats) and film screen 
in the region (40 ft. wide)! Previous guests and 
honorees include SteveBuscemi, Rod Steiger, 
Eli Wallach, Bai Ling and Cliff Robertson. 



For more infomation, call 516-632-7233 

or email pcohen@notes.cc.sunysb.edu 

Entry forms are available online at 

stallercenter.com/festival or write to: 

Stony Brook Film Festival, Staller Center for the Arts, 

rm 2032, SUNY Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 1 1794-5425 

Entry Deadline: April 1, 2000 




2000 Stony Brook 

Film Festival 

July 19-29 

// II \ 



Congratulations to the 1999 Stony Brook Film Festival Winners! 

"The Waiting Game," Director Ken Liotti • "Row Your Boat," Director Sollace Mitchell 
"God, Sex & Apple Pie," Director Paul Leaf, Producer/Writer/ Actor Jerome Courshon 
"More," Director Mark Osbourne • "The Fishmonger's Daughter," Director Caroline Sax 
"Roberta," Director Eric Mandelbaum • "Rudy Blue," Director John Werner 




18th Annual film/Video Festival 

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center 
May 1 8th-2 1st, 2000 

Call or Write for Entry Forms (Due 4/1/00) 

Christopher Cooke, Director 

Long Island Film Festival 

c/o P.O. Box 13243 

Hauppauge, NY 1 1788 

1-800-762-4769 . (516) 853-4800 

From l():00am-6pm, Mon-Fri 

or visit our website at vv ww.lifilm.org 



January/February Z000 THE INDEPENDENT 49 



Q^S^^I^) 



HON LINEAR 
EDITING 




O 



REAL TIME TRANSITIONS 



BROADCAST ONLINE 
3:1 TO 200:1 OFFLINE 



MULTI-LAYERING 



BETACAM SP EDITING 
HI 8 & 3/4SP — 3/4 AB 

ANIMATION & GRAPHICS 

DUPLICATION 

TRANSFERS from HI8 to BETA 



Phone (212) 219-9240 
Fqx (212) 966-5618 



DeWITT STERN GROUP, Inc. 

CELEBRATING 
100 YEARS ! 

ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA 
INSURANCE 

420 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 
Tel: 212-867-3550 Fax: 212-983-6483 




Carol A. Bressi Cilona 

Senior Vice President 

212-297-1468 

Jennifer Brown 
Assistant Vice President 

212-297-1445 



Formats: 35mm & 16mm. Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $40 
(features); $25 shorts (35 min. or less). Contact: NFF, Jill 
Goode, Artistic Director, Box 688, Prince St. Station, New 
York, NY 10012; (508) 325-6274; fax: (212) 708-1211; 
burkhart@interport.net; www.nantucketfilmfestival.org 

NEW YORK VIDEO FESTIVAL, July, NY. Deadline: March 3. 
Annual int'l electronic arts test presented in association w/ 
Lincoln Center Festival 2000. All genres & platforms of any 
length will be considered: video art, doc, computer anima- 
tion, interactive (CD-ROM, etc.). All videos chosen will be 
projected in the Film Society's Walter Reade Theater at 
Lincoln Center. There are no categories or awards. All work 
must be originally produced and/or postproduced in 
video/computer. Average of 40 works presented in 14 pro- 
grams; coverage in NY Times & Village Voice, as well as out- 
of-town & intl coverage. Submitted works should be recent 
(w/in past two years); NY premieres preferred. Formats: 1/2", 
3/4", Beta SR CD-ROM, Digital. Preview on 3/4", 1/2" (NTSC, 
PAL), CD-ROM (for pc). Do not submit preview in Beta. Do not 
send masters; tapes not returned. Entry form can be printed 
from web site. No entry fee. Contact: NYVF, Film Society of 
Lincoln Center, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023; 
(212) 875-5638; fax: 875-5636; sbensman@filmlinc.com; 
www.filmlinc.com 

NOT STILL ART FESTIVAL, April 28-29, NY. Deadline: March 
15. Fest invites media artists working in abstract & non-nar- 
rative electronic motion imaging, in conjunction w/ 
music/sound design, to submit programs under 10 min. in 
length. Fest is interested in work made w/ all technologies, the 
primary criterion being the aesthetic of the electronic screen. 
Programs made on the "Paik/Abe Synthesizer", from the early 
70s to present, sought for a special screening. Screenings 
will tour & be broadcast. Formats & preview: 3/4", Hi 8, S- 
VHS. For appli. & guidelines, see web site. Contact: NSA. Box 
496, Cherry Valley, NY 13320; fax: (607) 264-3476; 
nsa_fest@hotmail.com; www.improvart.com/nsa/ 

OUTFEST 2000, July 6-16, CA. Deadline: March 31. Held at the 
Directors Guild of America theater & nearby venues, fest seeks 
films & videos by &/or about gay men, lesbians, bisexuals & 
transgenders. Open to narrative & doc features & shorts. Cats: 
feature, doc, short. Twelve awards ranging from $500 to 
$1,500. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Preview on VHS. 
Entry fees: $10-$25. Contact: OUTFEST, 1125 McCadden 
Place, Ste. 235, Los Angeles, CA 90038; (323) 960-9200; fax: 
960-2397; outfest@outfest.org; www.outfest.org 

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN & GAY FILM 
FESTIVAL. June, CA. Deadline: Late Feb. Founded in 1976, 
this is one of world's largest & oldest events of its kind. Many 
works premiered in fest go on to be programmed or distrib- 
uted nat'lly & int'Hy. Rough-cuts accepted for preview if sub- 
mitted on 1/2". Entries must be SF Bay Area premieres. 
Awards: Frameline Award, Audience Award. Dockers Khakis 
1st Feature Award ($10,000). Fest produced by Frameline, 
nonprofit arts organization dedicated to lesbian & gay media 
arts. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta, 1/2". Entry fee: $20. 
Contact: SFILGFF, Jennifer Morris, Co-Director, Frameline, 
346 9th St., San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 703-8650; fax: 
861-1404; info@frameline.org; www.frameline.org 

SAN FRANCISCO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL, July 20-Aug. 3, 
CA. Deadline: March 15. Estab. in 1980. noncompetitive fest 



showcases new ind. American Jewish-subject cinema & 
diverse selection of foreign films. Fest presents dramatic, 
doc, experimental & animated shorts & features about 
Jewish history, culture & identity. Filmmakers need not be 
Jewish; films selected by subject. 35-40 films showcased 
each yr. Cats-, experimental, short, animation, feature, doc, 
Jewish. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta SR Preview on VHS. No 
entry fee. Contact: SFJFF, Janis Plotkin, Director, 346 9th St., 
San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 621-0556; fax: (510) 548- 
0536; jewishfilm@sfjff.org; www.sfjff.org 

SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, May 18-June 11, 
WA. Deadline: March 3. Founded in 1974, fest is the largest 
film festival in the U.S., presenting more than 200 features & 
80+ shorts to an audience of over 140,000 filmgoers each 
year. Fest is one of five N. American film festivals in which 
presentation will qualify a film w/out distribution for submis- 
sion to the Independent Spirit Awards. Fest hosts a competi- 
tion for Best American Ind. Film, Best New Director (Intl) & 
Best Short Film in addition to the audience-based Golden 
Space Needle Awards given in cats of feature film, director, 
actress, actor, doc & shorts. Formats: 16mm & 35mm. 
Preview on VHS. Entry fees: $25 (30 min. or less); $50 (31 
min. or more). Contact: SIFF, 911 Pine Street, Ste. 607, 
Seattle, WA 98101; (206) 464-5830; fax: 264-7919; 
entry@seattlefilm.com; www.seattlefilm.com 

TAHOE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, April 6-10, CA.. 
Deadline: Jan. 14. 4th annual fest showcases natl & int'l incl 
workshops, panel discussions, formals & parties. Accepting 
features, shorts, docs, animation, children's program, stu- 
dent. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta SR Digital. Preview on 
VHS (NTSC only.) Entry fees-. $15-40. Contact: TIFF, Hilary 
Kleger or Peter Fain, Program Directors, Box 7588, Tahoe City. 
CA 96145; shipping: 405 N. Lake Blvd., Ste. 205, Tahoe City, 
CA 96145; (530) 583-FEST fax: 581-5474; info@ 
tahoefilmfestival.org; www.tahoefilmfestival.org 

U.S. INTERNATIONAL FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, June 7-8, 

IL. Deadline: March 1. Founded in 1968, this is the world's 
leading competition devoted exclusively to business, TV, 
industrial & info productions. Entries are grouped w/in 68 
cats or 11 production techniques. Productions must have 
been created during the 18 months preceding deadline. 
Formats: 1/2" & 3/4". Entry fees: $125-$200 (depending on 
length). Contact: USIFVF, 841 N. Addison Ave., Elmhurst, IL 
60126; (630) 834-7773; fax: 834-5565; filmfestinfo® 
filmfestawards.com; www.filmfestawards.com 

USA FILM FESTIVAL, April 27-May 4, TX. Deadline: Early 
March. Fest has 3 major sections: noncompetitive feature sec- 
tion; Natl Short Film & Video Competition & KidFilm. Feature 
section incl. piemieres of new films, new works from ind. & 
emerging filmmakers. Short film & video competition show- 
cases new & significant U.S. work. Entries should be under 60 
min., completed after 1/1/99. Awards incl. $1,000 prizes for 
narrative, nonaction, animation & exp. Plus $250 Jury Awards. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Preview on VHS. Entry fee: 
$40. Contact: USAFF Alonso Duralde, 2917 Swiss Ave., Dallas, 
TX 75204; (214) 821-6300; fax: 821-6364; www. 
usafilmfestival.com 

VIDEOGRAPHER AWARDS, TX. Deadline March 17. Event is an 
awards program to honor talented individuals & companies in 
the video production industry. Awards given for video produc- 



50 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



Q-b^^j's'J: y^s^=i) 



tion & special events video. Numerous cats incl. educational, 
student, special events, legal & sports. Accepting entries start- 
ing Feb. 1, Formats: VHS, S-VHS, Betacam, Betacam SP CD- 
ROM (PC) & DVD. Entry fee: $37.50. Entry forms & info avail, 
on web site. Contact: Videographer Awards, 2214 Michigan, 
Ste. E, Arlington, TX 76013; (817) 459-0448; fax: 795-4949; 
info@videoawards.com; www.videoawards.com 

CORRECTION: The web site for the WILLIAMSBURG 
BROOKLYN FILM FESTIVAL is: www.wbff.org 

Foreign 

algarve international film festival, may 18-28, 

Portugal. Deadline: March 15. 28th annual test is longest- 
running event of its kind held in Portugal. Films must be pro- 
duced 1997 or later & be no longer than 30 min. Cat: short. 
Formats: 35mm. Preview on VHS. No entry fee. Contact: AIFF, 
Carlos Manuel, Box 8091, 1801 Lisboa Codex, Portugal; Oil 
351 21 851 3615; fax: 351 21 852 1150; algarvefilmfest@ 
mail.telepac.pt; www.algarvefilmfest.com 

BANFF TELEVISION FESTIVAL, June 11-16, Canada. Deadline: 
Feb. 21. Fest blends three components: an int'l program com- 
petition, a conference for TV professionals w/ important 
resource people & an informal environment in which to devel- 
op business relationships. Cats incl. animation, arts docs, his- 
tory & biography programs, short dramas & sports programs. 
Entries must be made for TV, w/ those in English or French 
having their TV premiere after March of preceding year. 
Producers of programs judged best in each of 14 cats will 
receive "Rockies" sculptures. Grand Prize Award given to the 
"Best of the Festival." On demand screening facilities for TV 
programs invited or submitted to fest, in or out of competition. 
Audience est. at 1,000. Formats: 3/4". Preview on VHS. Entry 
fee: $250. Contact: BTF, Pat Ferns, 1516 Railway Ave, 
Canmore, Alberta, Canada TIW 1P6; (403) 678-9260; fax: 
678-9269; info@banfftvfest.com; www.banfftvfest.com 

CANNES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, May 12-23, 
France. Deadline: March 15. Largest int'l film fest, attended 
by over 30,000 professionals, stars, directors, distributors, 
buyers & journalists. Round-the-clock screenings, parties, 
ceremonies, press conferences & one of world's largest film 
markets. Selection committee, appointed by Admin. Board, 
chooses entries for Official Competition (about 20 films) & Un 
Certain Regard section (about 20 films). Films must have 
been made w/in prior 12 mo., released only in country of ori- 
gin & not entered in other fests. Official component consists 
of 3 sections: 1) In Competition, for features & shorts com- 
peting for major awards; 2) special Out of Competition 
accepts features ineligible for competition (e.g. by previous 
winners of Palme d'Or); 3) Un Certain Regard, noncompeti- 
tive section for films of int'l quality that do not qualify for 
competition, films by new directors, etc; 4) Cinefondation, 
new competition (since '98) to present & promote short & 
medium-length fiction or animation films, final year student 
films, or first productions which show artistic qualities that 
deserve to be encouraged. Film market administered sepa- 
rately, screens film in main venue & local theater. Parallel 
sections incl. Quinzaine des Realisateurs (Director's 
Fortnight), main sidebar for new talent, sponsored by Assoc, 
of French Film Directors (deadline mid-April); La Semaine de 
la Critique (Int'l Critic's Week), 1st or 2nd features & docs 



chosen by French Film Critics Union (selections must be 
completed w/in 12 mos prior to fest). Top prizes incl. Official 
Competition's Palme d'Or (feature & short), Camera d'Or 
(best first film in any section) & Cinefondation (best final 
year student film). Formats: 35mm, 16mm. No entry fee. 
Contact: Cannes, 99 boulevard Malesherbes, 75008 Paris, 
France; Oil 33 1 45 61 66 00; fax: 33 1 45 61 97 60. For 
press accreditation, contact: Christine Aime, Oil 33 1 45 61 
66 08; fax: 33 1 45 61 97 61. Cannes Film Market, contact: 
Jerome Paillard, 99 bd Malesherbes, 75008 Paris, France; 
Oil 33 1 45 61 66 09, fax: 33 1 45 61 97 59. Add'l info: 
Quinzaine des Realisateurs, Societe des Realisateurs de 
Films, 14 rue Alexandre Parodi, 75010 Paris, France; Oil 33 
1 44 89 99 99, fax: 33 1 44 89 99 60. Semaine Internationale 
de la Critique, attoi: Eva Roelens, 52 rue Labrouste, 75015 
Paris, France; Oil 33 1 56 08 18 88; fax: 33 1 56 08 18 28; 
critique@club.internet.fr 

CINEMATECA URUGUAYA, April 15-30, Uruguay. Deadline: 
Feb. 15. 18th annual fest devoted to short & feature-length, 
doc, fiction, experimental, Latin American & int'l films, w/ 
purpose of promoting film quality & human & conceptual val- 
ues. Ind. fest aims at being frame for meetings & discussions 
of regional projects & of mutual interest. Fest has 4 sections: 
Int'l Full Length Film Show; Int'l Doc & Experimental Film 
Show; Info Show; Espacio Uruguay. Films should be subti- 
tled, have Spanish version, or have a list of texts or dialogues 
translated into Spanish. Films wishing to compete should 
have been finished after Jan. 1, 1998. Deadline for reception 
of prints: March 15, (contact before shipping). Formats: 
16mm, 35mm, VHS (PAL or NTSC), U-Matic PAL. Preview on 
VHS. Contact: CU, Lorenzo Carnelli, 1311 (11200) 
Montevideo, Montevideo, Uruguay; fax: 01 1 598 2 409-4572; 
cinemuy@chasque.apc.org; www.cinemateca.org.uy 

FUKOUKA ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL, July, Japan Deadline: 
March 31. Competitive fest accepts feature films made by 
Asian or Asian American directors &/or featuring Asian sub- 
ject matter. Cats: feature, shorts, doc, animation. Awards: 
non-cash prizes. Formats: 16mm, 35mm. Preview on VHS. 
No entry fee. Contact: FAFF, Shu Maeda, Hirako bldg., 4th fl., 
2-4-31, Diamyo, Fukuoka, Japan 810-0041; Oil 81 92 733- 
0949; fax: 81 92 733-0948; faff@gol.com; www. 
shukosha.com/faff/ 

HAMBURG INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, June 
13-18, Germany. Deadlines: March 1. 16 (Int'l Short Film 
Competition & No Budget Competition); April 1 (Three min. 
Quickie). 16th annual fest is a forum for presenting diversity of 
int'l short films & a meeting place for filmmakers from home & 
abroad. Awards: Hamburg Short Film Award (main award), No 
Budget Award (jury award), Francois Ode Award (jury award), 
Audience Awards (each cat). Theme of 2000 Three-mm. 
Quickie is "My favorite song." Length: under 20 min. (excep- 
tions possible); except Three-min. Quickie. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, super 8, Betacam, U-Matic, VHS & S-VHS. Previews on 
VHS. If previews are not in German or English, please enclose 
text list. VHS not returned. Contact: HISFF, KurzFilmAgentur 
Hamburg e.V, IHSFF, Friedensaliee 7, D-22765, Hamburg, 
Germany; Oil 49 40 398 26 122; fax: 49 40 398 26 123; 
kfa@shortfilm.com; www.shortfilm.com 

LAON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FOR YOUNG PEO- 
PLE, March 27-April 6, France. Deadline: Feb. 11. Oldest 
French fest for youth, attracting more than 30.000 spectators 




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The Southeast's Premier 
1 Independent Film Event 



Ninth Annual — 

Florida Film Festival 

June 9-18, 2000 

Enzian Theater, Orlando 



Features, documentaries, shorts, and animation 
with juried competition and audience awards 

Early Deadline: February 25 
Late Deadline: March 24 



Phone 407.629.1088 Fax 407.629.6870 
wvuw.enzfan.org filmfest@enzian.org 



& well known by French distribs. Prize of Laon is 30,000 FF 
(approx. $4,626) to the French distributor. Looking for high 
quality feature films likely to be of interest to children or 
young adults (fiction or animation). Formats: 35mm, 16mm. 
Preview on VHS. No entry fee. For more info contact: LIFFYR 
Florence Dupont, 9 rue du Bourg, B.P 526, 02001 Laon 
Cedex, France; Oil 33 3 23 79 39 37/33 3 23 79 39 26; fax: 
33 3 23 79 39 32; festival.cinema.laon@wanadoo.fr; festi- 
val. cinema. laon@wanadoo.fr; www.aisne.com/festival_ 
cinema_jeune_public 

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, July 19-Aug. 
6, Australia. Deadlines: March 3 (shorts); April 7 (features). 
FIAPF-recogmzed fest celebrates 49th anniv. as one of 
Australia's largest & its oldest fest. Eclectic mix of indie work, 
w/ special interest in feature docs & shorts. Substantial pro- 
gram of new Aussie cinema. Int'l short film competition fea- 
tures cash prizes in 7 cats: Grand Prix City of Melbourne 
Award for Best Film ($5,000) & $2,000 for best of in each 
cat: Australian, experimental, animated, doc & fiction. Open 
to films of all kinds, except training & ads. Films 30 min. or 
less eligible for Int'l Short Film Competition; films over 60 
min. eligible for noncompetitive feature program. Video & 
super 8 productions considered for "out-of-competition" 
screenings. Entries must have been completed w/in previous 
yr. & not screened in Melbourne or broadcast on Australian TV. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2", S-8. Preview on VHS. Entry 
fee: $30. Contact: MIFF, Sandra Sdraulig, Exec. Director, 207 
Johnston St., Box 2206, Fitzroy 3065, Australia; Oil 61 3 417 
2011; fax: 61 3 417 3804; miff@netspace.net.au; 
www.melbournefilmfestival.com.au 

PESARO FILM FESTIVAL, June 21-29, Italy. Deadline: March 
31. 36th annual test's "New Cinema" program incl. features, 
shorts, fiction, nonfiction, experimental & animation. 
Production requirements: Italian premiere, completion after 
Jan. 1, 1999. Send a VHS tape, any standard. If not English or 
French spoken or subtitled, enclose dialogue list in either lan- 
guage. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, U-matic, Betacam. Preview 
on VHS. No entry fee. Contact: PFF, Fondazione Pesaro Nuovo 
Cinema, Via Villafranca 20, 00185, Rome, Italy; Oil 39 06 
4456643/491156; fax: 39 06 491163; pesarofilmfest® 
mclink.it; www.comune.pesaro.ps.it 

SUNNY SIDE OF THE DOCS MARKET & VUE SUR LES DOCS 
FESTIVAL, June 21-24, France. Deadline: March 27. 11th 
annual market brings together ind. producers, distributors, 
commissioning editors, heads of TV programming depts & 
buyers from all over the world. Attended last year by some 
695 companies from 34 countries, 213 buyers & commis- 
sioning editors & 94 TV channels. Market provides opportuni- 
ties for project development & meeting partners w/ Side-by- 
Side sessions (one-on-one meetings w/ commissioning edi- 
tors for advice on projects). Contact: SSDM, 23 rue Frangois 
Simon, 13003 Marseille, France; Oil 33 4 95 04 44 80; fax: 
33 4 91 84 38 34; sunnyside@wanadoo.fr; www. 
film-fest-marseilles.com 

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL, June 9-23, Australia. Deadline: 
Feb. 18. Australia's main fest, this major FIAPF-recognized 
event is one of world's oldest (47 years old) & leading int'l 
showcase for new work screening around 175 films. 
Noncompetitive int'l program incl. features & docs; experi- 
mental works; retros; competition for Aussie shorts; forums 
w/ visiting directors. All Aussie distributors & TV buyers 



attend. Fest has enthusiastic & loyal audience & is excellent 
opportunity for publicity & access to Aussie markets. Fest 
conducts audience survey, w/ results provided to participat- 
ing filmmakers; results have good deal of influence w/ Aussie 
distribs. Entries must have been completed w/in previous 18 
months & be Aussie premieres. Entry open to features, docs 
& short films & videos from around the world. Awards for 
Australian-produced short films (under 60 min.) & docs only. 
Formats: 70mm, 35mm, 16mm & Beta SP PAL. Preview on 
VHS (NTSC or PAL). No entry fee. Filmmakers wishing their 
tapes returned must pay a fee of $20 ($13 U.S.) to cover 
return cost. Contact: SFF, Jenny Neighbour, Box 950, Glebe 
NSW 2037, Australia; Oil 61 2 9660-3844; fax: 61 2 9692- 
8793; info@sydfilm-fest.com.au; www.sydfilm-fest.com.au 

TOKYO INTERNATIONAL LESBIAN & GAY FILM & VIDEO 
FESTIVAL, July, Japan. Deadline: March 15. 9th annual event 
is the largest lesbian & gay fest in Asia drawing 6,000 view- 
ers to 40 films in 1999. Fest is a major event in the Tokyo 
cultural scene & receives nat'l & int'l media coverage. 
Formats: 16mm, 35mm, Beta SP, 1/2" (NTSC only, no PAL or 
SECAM). Preview on VHS (NTSC or PAL). No entry fee. 
Contact: TLGFF, 5-24-16 #601 Nakano, Nakano-ku.Tokyo, 
Japan 164-0001; Oil 81 353 80 5760; fax: 81 353 80 5767; 
lgff@tokyo.office.ne.jp; www.gender.ne.jp/L-GFF/ 

TORONTO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL, May 4-11, Canada. 
Deadline: Feb.15. Now in its 8th year, event is the 2nd largest 
Jewish film fest in N. America. It is devoted to chronicling 
diversity of Jewish life & experiences from around the world. 
Well-supported by the Toronto Jewish community, fest had 
attendance of 12,000 last year. Cats: feature, doc, short. 
Formats: 35mm. 16mm, Beta-SP, VHS (Secam, PAL). No 
entry fee. Contact: TJFF, Shlomo Schwartzberg, Director of 
Programming, 33 Prince Arthur Ave., 2nd fl, Toronto, Ontario, 
Canada M5R 1B2; (416) 324-8226; fax: 324-8668; 
tjff@interlog.com; www.tjff.com 

TURIN INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF LESBIAN AND GAY 
FILMS. April 13-19. Italy. Deadline: Early Feb. Now in 15th 
yr, one of longest-running int'l gay & lesbian events. Entries 
should be by lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender filmmakers or 
address related themes & issues. About 170 titles. 
Competition section divided between 3 juries: doc, long fea- 
ture & short feature. Panorama section features new int'l 
productions. Award named after late fest co-founder, Ottavio 
Mai, presented to best screenplay for short. Cats: doc, fea- 
ture, short.. Formats: 3/4", 1/2", 35mm, 16mm. Preview on 
VHS. No entry fee. Contact: TIFLGF Angelo Acerbi, Head pro- 
grammer, Piazza San Carlo 161, 10123 Torino. Italy; Oil 390 
11 534 888; fax: 390 11 535 796; glfilmfest@assioma.com; 
www.space.tin.it/cinema/gminerba 

YORKTON SHORT FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL, May 11-14, 
Canada. Deadline: Feb. 10. Event is the longest running short 
film fest in N. America & home of the coveted Golden Sheaf 
Award. Awards will be presented in 4 int'l, 17 nat'l, and 9 
craft categories as well as cash awards, jury awards & best 
overall. Fest provides a relaxed atmosphere for participants 
to network w/ buyers, producers, distributors, broadcasters 
& funders. Formats: Betacam/Betacam SP, 1/2" VHS (NTSC). 
Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $75 (nat'l); $100 (int'l). Contact: 
YSFVF, 49 Smith St. E., Yorkton, SK, S3N 0H4, Canada; (306) 
782-7077; fax: 782-1550; info@yorktonshortfilm.org; 
wwwyorktonshortfilm.org 



52 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



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NOTICES OF RELEVANCE TO AIVF MEMBERS ARE LIST- 
ED FREE OF CHARGE AS SPACE PERMITS. THE 
INDEPENDENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO EDIT FOR 
LENGTH AND MAKES NO GUARANTEES ABOUT REPETI- 
TIONS OF A GIVEN NOTICE. LIMIT SUBMISSIONS TO 60 
WORDS & INDICATE HOW LONG INFO WILL BE CUR- 
RENT. DEADLINE: 1ST OF THE MONTH, TWO MONTHS 
PRIOR TO COVER DATE (E.G., MARCH. 1 FOR MAY 
ISSUE). COMPLETE CONTACT INFO (NAME, ADDRESS & 
PHONE) MUST ACCOMPANY ALL NOTICES. SEND TO: 
INDEPENDENT NOTICES, FIVF, 304 HUDSON ST., 6TH 
FL, NY, NY 10013. WE TRY TO BE AS CURRENT AS POS- 
SIBLE, BUT DOUBLE-CHECK BEFORE SUBMITTING 
TAPES OR APPLICATIONS. CONTACT: intern@aivf.org 

Competitions 

AMERICAN SCREENWRITERS ASSOCIATION is sponsoring a 
new contest entitled "Screenwritingfrom the Soul," dedicat- 
ed to finding "the most heartwarming, soulful story of the 
year." Grand Prize: $500 script consultation & dinner w/ 
Richard Kreviolin, USC Screenwriting Professor & author of 
"Screenwriting from the Soul." Entry fee: $25 (ASA mem- 
bers): $35 (non-members); Deadline: Feb. 29. Contact: ASA, 
Box 12860, Cincinnati, OH 45212; (513) 731-9212; johnj@ 
asascreenwriters.com; www.asascreenwriters.com 

FIRST TEEN IMPR0V MOVIE CONTEST: Join moviemakers in 
NY, MA IL & IA to develop art of improvising a movie in one or 
two days. Use our MOVIExperience format or your own cur- 
riculum. Cash prizes from Second City & others. Include w/ 
entry form, your storyboard, visual proof that teens are 
behind the camera & a check for $50 to Group Creativity 
Projects (nonprofit), 1029 Federal, Belchertown, MA 01007. 
Dave Shepherd, Coordinator: (413) 256-1991. 

HOLLYWOOD'S SYNOPSIS WRITING CONTEST: Est. to give 
you experience, feedback, direction etc. as to whether your 
current synopsis writing would make an agent, producer or 
development company sit up & take notice about a script you 
have already written or one you intend to write. You may enter 
a one-page synopsis of a screenplay you already have written, 
or a screenplay you intend to write. Judges evaluate synopses 
on originality, marketability & cleverness. Each contestant 
receives personalized commentary on merits of each synopsis 
entered. Winner receives free copy of Final Draft, valued at 
$299, plus a free Script Detail of the screenplay of your choice 
valued at $150, both compliments of LA's The Source World 
Wide Scriptservice. Deadline: last day of every month. Only 
online entries accepted; info@thesource.com.au; www.the- 
source.com.au/hollywood/entry-form.html 

SCRIPTAPALOOZA is a company that not only champions the 
talented writer, but takes that writer beyond just prize money. 
Creates golden opportunities for winning writers to possibly be 
discovered, get representation, have their script optioned, or 
to outright sell it. Early bird deadline (postmarked by Jan. 2): 
$35; first deadline (March 1 postmark): $40; final deadline 
(April 15 postmark): $45. For rules, guidelines & application: 
www.scriptapalooza.com; Scnptapalooza, 7775 Sunset Blvd. 
,PMB # 200, Hollywood, CA 90046. 

VIDEO SHORTS ANNUAL COMPETITION seeks short videos 
for juried screenings open to public. Ten entries chosen as 
winners; top two receive $100, other eight receive $50, plus 
any revenue received from rental/sales. Max. length: 6 min. 
Entry fee: $20; add $10 for each additional entry on same 



cassette (max. 3 entries per entrant). All entries must include 
entry form. Tapes & boxes must be labeled w/ name, titles & 
running times. Tapes must be in 3/4" or 3/4" SP VHS or S- 
VHS or DV. VHS tapes also accepted in PAL & SECAM. Include 
SASE if want tapes returned. Deadline: Feb. 5. Contact: Video 
Shorts, Box 20295, Seattle, WA 98102; (206) 322-9010; 
www.videoshorts.com 

Conferences 

INT'L FILM FINANCING CONFERENCE announces Open Day, 
Jan. 14 in San Francisco, a full day of panels & networking 
opportunities w/ key int'l film financiers & buyers. This is only 
day of IFFCON w/ registration open to public. Topics include: 
"Pitch Perfect: How To Sell Your Idea" & "Funding the Future: 
the Digital Wave." Registration fee: $150. Info & registration: 
(415) 281-9777; www.iffcon.com (see page 46) 

THE THIRD SCHOOL OF SOUND, a four-day symposium 
exploring use of sound in screen production, will be held in 
London from April 12-15. SoS will take a comprehensive look 
at structure & function of the soundtrack, leading you along 
new paths through creative processes — writing, editing, 
sound design, music composition — that culminate in syn- 
thesis of sound & moving image. Topics will range from prac- 
tical to aesthetic to metaphysical & will incl. concepts for 
integrating sound & image, human sound perception, sound 
as metaphor. Program will place a special emphasis on voice 
& dialogue, a topic often omitted from creative strategies 
used in sound design. For info or inclusion on our mailing list, 
tel/fax: Oil 44 171 323 3437; Epesound@aol.com; 
www.schoolofsound.co.uk 

Films • Tapes Wanted 

ART IN GENERAL seeks short works for 2000 video series. All 
genres considered. Submit VHS only, resume, brief statement 
& SASE for return of materials to: Future Programs, Video 
Series, Art in General, 79 Walker St., New York, NY 10013; 
(212) 219-0473. 

AXLEGREASE, Buffalo cable access program of ind. film & 
video, accepting all genres under 28 min., 1/2", 3/4", 8mm, 
Hi8. Send labeled w/ name, address, title, length, additional 
info & SASE for tape return to: Squeaky Wheel, 175 Elmwood 
Ave., Buffalo, NY 14201; (716) 884-7172; wheel® 
freenet.buffalo.edu; http://freenet.buffalo.edu/~wheel 

BIJOU MATINEE is showcase for independent shorts. 
Program appears weekly on Channel 35 leased access 
Manhattan Cable South (below 86th St.) every Sat. at 2:30 
p.m. Submissions should be 25 min. or less. VHS, 3/4", or DV. 
Send copies to Bijou Matinee, Box 649, New York, NY 10159; 
(212) 505-3649; www.BijouMatinee.com 

CABLE SHOWCASE SEEKS PRODUCTIONS. Send 1/2" or 
3/4" tapes to: Bob Neuman, program director, 8103 Sandy 
Spring Rd., Laurel, MD 20707. Tapes cannot be returned. 

CIN(E)-POETRY FESTIVAL accepting short poetry or literary 
films, videos, documentaries & multimedia pieces for catalog 
& upcoming poetry video film festival. Request entry form: 
Cin(E)-Poetry, 934 Brannan St., 2 ft, San Francisco, CA 
94103; (415) 552-9261; fax: 552-9261; poetry® 
nationalpoetry.org 

D.FILM Digital Film Festival lwww.dfilm.com] is a traveling 
showcase of shorts made w/ computers & other new & radical 
technologies. D.FILM was official digital film program at 1999 



Cannes Film Festival. Look for it in your city & visit web site to 
make your own movie online w/ the Movie Maker Game. 

DOCUMENTAL: doc & exp. bimonthly film video series at LA's 
historic Midnight Special bookstore, accepting entries of any 
length. Contact: Gerry Fialka (310) 306-7330. 

EXHIBITION OPPORTUNITIES FOR 99/00 SEASON. All 

media considered incl. 2-D, 3-D, performance, video & com- 
puter art. Send resume, 20 slides or comparable documenta- 
tion, SASE to: University Art Gallery, Wightman 132, Central 
Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Ml 48858. 

EXHIBITION SPACE: Sleeping Girl Productions, a nonprofit 
production company in Chicago, is about to open a 100+ 
seat film theater avail, for rent to any Illinois filmmaker for a 
night, weekend, or extended run. For more info, write or call: 
Jason Tugman, Sleeping Girl Productions, 839 W. Sheridan # 
502, Chicago, IL 60613; (773) 472-0525. 

FOOTAGE WANTED: Tigress Productions seeking 8mm or S- 
8 footage of 42nd St./Times Square area from 1960s & 70s 
for doc. All film returned, some paid, film credit. Contact: 
June Lang (212) 977-2634. 

FUNNY SHORTS requests submissions of funny short films 
for new syndicated TV show. Shorts may be on film or video 
& must be no longer than 20 min. Students, amateurs & pros 
welcome. Cash & prizes will be awarded for films chosen for 
broadcast. Tapes not returned. Send VHS entries to: Funny 
Shorts, c/o Vitascope, Box 24981, New Orleans, LA 70184. 

GOWANUS ARTS EXCHANGE is accepting submissions of 
short 16mm films & videos (up to 30 min.) by NYC artists for 
the Independent Film & Video Series. Any genre or subject 
matter Deadline: Ongoing. Also presenting a Children's Film 
Festival & looking for films that children will enjoy. Deadline: 
Jan. 15. Send tapes & SASE to: The Ind. Film & Video Series, 
Gowanus Arts Exchange, 421 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 
11215; Info/details: (718) 832-0018; info@thegowanus.org 

INDEPENDENT LENS is a PBS series designed to showcase 
works of independent film & videomakers, presenting doc, 
short action & fiction works. All genres & lengths, fiction, 
nonfiction, doc, or live short action works are welcome. All 
lengths (30 min, 60 min, 90 min, etc.) accepted, but PBS has 
standard length requirements which may necessitate edits. 
You must have (E&O) insurance, be closed-captioned & com- 
ply w/ PBS underwriting guidelines. We look forward to see- 
ing your independent work! When sending in your submis- 
sion, please include: Exact length of program, all production 
credits & all packaging elements, brief description, names of 
current program funders. Deadline: Feb. 15. Send VHS copies 
to: Caryn Gutierrez Ginsberg, PBS Ind. Lens, 1320 Braddock 
Place, Alexandria, VA 22314; (703) 739-5010; www.pbs.org 

NETBROADCASTER.COM seeks films & videos for streaming 
on the net. Expose your feature or short to int'l audience. 
Seeking all genres & formats from drama, horror, comedy, 
animation, docs, experimental, music videos, as well as real- 
ity-based videos. We want it all! Netbroadcaster.com 
launched last fall. Site hosted by Alchemy Communications, 
one of largest ISPs on the net: films@alchemy.net 

NEW VENUE [www.newvenue.com] showcases movies made 
specifically for Internet & offers filmmakers a guide to optimizing 
video for web. Submit a digital flick for Y2K season now: 
QuickTime or Flash. 5 MB or less ( 15 min or less for streaming). 

OUTDOOR SHORT FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL. Late April. 

AZ. Deadline: Feb. 18. Fest is one night outdoor event. Entries 



January/Februan AW THE INDEPENDENT 53 






should be no longer than 10 min. All genres, but shorts only. 
Awards are in name only. Incl. SASE for tape return. Format 
is VHS only. No entry fee. Contact: ASUAMSFVF. John D. 
Spiak, ASU Art Museum, 10th St. & Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 
85287; (480) 965-2787; fax: 965-5254; spiak@asu.edu; 
www.asuam.fa.asu.edu/filmfest/main.htm 

PARTNERSHIP FOR JEWISH LIFE introduces an on-going 
series showcasing emerging Jewish filmmakers' work at 
MAKOR, a place for New Yorkers in their 20s & 30s. Now 
accepting shorts, features, docs &/or works-in-progress on 
any theme for screening consideration & network building. 
PJL's film program is sponsored by Steven Spielberg's 
Righteous Persons Foundation. Contact: Ken Sherman at 
(212) 792-6286; kensherman@makor.org 

TAG-TV is accepting short films, videos' & animations to air 
on the Internet. Check out www.tag-tv.com for more info. 

TV/HOME VIDEO production company is seeking original 
short films (preferably 10 min. or less) for broadcast on a 
new cable comedy series & inclusion in upcoming video 
anthology collection. Send films in VHS or S-VHS format to: 
Salt City Productions/Big City TV, Box 5515, Syracuse, NY 
13320; SCVP@aol.com 

VIDEO/FILM SHORTS wanted for local television. Directors 
interviewed, tape returned w/ audience feedback. Accepting 
VHS/S-VHS, 15 min. max. SASEtO: Box 1042, Nantucket, MA 
02554; (508) 325-7935. 

VIDEOSPACE BOSTON seeks creative videos for spring pro- 
gramming. Any genre & length. Nonprofit/no payment. Send 
VHS, Hi-8, or 3/4" w/ description, name, phone & SASE to: 
Videospace, General submissions, 9 Myrtle St., Jamaica 
Plain, MA 02130. 

WORLD OF INSANITY looking for videos & films to air on 
local cable access channel, particularly anything odd, 
bizarre, funny, cool. Any length. One hr. weekly show w/ 
videos followed by info on makers. Send VHS/S-VHS to: World 
of Insanity, Box 954, Veneta, OR 97487; (541) 935-5538. 

ZAO, a new exhibition space, currently accepting short film/ 
videos of any genre/subject. Send VHS tape w/ bio & SASE to: 
Tahari, ZAO, 1114 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036, Attn: Lisa 
Schroeder. 

ZOIE FILMS INTERNET FESTIVAL, March Deadline: Feb. 
2nd annual test will present approx. 30-50 films during the 
year & showcases more than 60 filmmakers. New domestic 
& foreign films, fiction films & docs, animation, experimental 
works, children's programs & film shorts will be incl. in test. 
Awards incl. Zoie Star Award for Best Picture (domestic & 
foreign) People's Choice Awards & Certificates for various 
placements. Contact: Zoie Films, 539 Salem Woods Dr., 
Marietta, GA 30067; (404) 816-0602; fax: 560-6777; 
www.zoiefilms.com/filmfestxprt.htm 

Publications 

1998 LIBRARY OF AFRICAN CINEMA: resource guide 
released by California Newsreel. Includes 40 African pro- 
duced feature films, docs, & TV productions. 48-page guide 
avail, at no charge from: California Newsreel, 149 Ninth St, 
San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 621-6196; fax: 621-6522; 
newsreel@ix.netcom.com; www.newsreel.org 

6th INTERNATIONAL FILM FINANCING CONFERENCE tran- 
scripts avail. Topics discussed by int'l financiers, commission- 



ing editors & producers incl. "Pitch Perfect: How to Sell Your 
Idea" & "Fiction & Non-Fiction for TV." Send $46 to IFFCON; 
360 Ritch St., San Francisco, CA 94107; (415) 281-9777. 

ART ON FILM DATABASE offers free listings. Have you pro- 
duced films, videos, or CD-ROMs on art or architecture? Send 
info for inclusion in database of over 25,000 prods on visual 
arts topics. Prods about artists of color & multicultural arts 
projects are welcomed. Send info to: Program for Art on Film, 
Inc., c/o Pratt SILS, 200 Willoughby Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11205; 
(718) 399-4506; fax: 399-4507; artfilm® sils.pratt.edu ; 
www.artfilm.org 

DATABASE & DIRECTORY OF LATIN AMERICAN 
FILM & VIDEO organized by Int'l Media Resources 
Exchange seeks works by Latin American & U.S. 
Latino ind. producers. To send work or for info: Karen 
Ranucci, LAVA, 124 Washington PL, New York, NY 
10014; (212) 463-0108. 



MEDIAMAKER HANDBOOK: The Essential Resource 
for Making Independent Film, Video, & New Media. 
Completely updated for 1999. Includes nat'l & int'l 
film festival listings, distributors, 
screenplay competitions, exhibition 
venues, media funding sources, call: 
(415) 558-2126; www.bavc.org/html/ 
forms/mediamaker.html 

NEH 1998 Annual Report is now avail. 
Contains brief descriptions of 
Endowment programs as well as a 
complete listing of all Endowment 
grants for fiscal year 1998. Contact: 
NEH 1998 Annual Report, Rm 401, 
1100 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, 
Washington, DC 20506; info@ 
neh.gov; www.neh.gov 

THE SQUEALER, quarterly journal pro- 
duced by Squeaky Wheel puts upstate 
NY spin on media-related subjects. 
Once a year, The Squealer publishes 
"State of the State," a comprehensive 
resource issue w/ detailed info on 
upstate media arts organizations, 
access centers, schools & coalitions. 
Subscriptions $15/ year. Contact: Andrea Mancuso, 
Squeaky Wheel, 175 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 
14201; www.freenet.buffalo.edu/sigs/links/squeaky/ 
org.htm 

Resources • Funds 

8xlOGLOSSY.COM: Free Internet listing & email address for 
all actors technicians & organizations. On-line artists' co-op 
offers free listing in their Directory & Searchable Database, 
free email address (can even be forwarded by fax or letter), 
free use of Bulletin Board. SASE to Jim Lawter, 37 Greenwich 
Ave, #1-6, Stamford, CT 06902; www.8xl0glossy.com 

ARTS LINK COLLABORATIVE PROJECTS allow U.S. artists 
and arts organizations to undertake projects overseas with 
colleagues in Central and Eastern Europe with grants from 
$2,500-$10,000. Applicants must be citizens or perma- 
nent residents of the U.S. Deadline: Appl. must be post- 
marked by Jan. 18, 2000. Contact: Arts Link, CEC 
International Partners, 12 West 31 St., New York, NY 10001; 
artslink@cecip.org 




off your resume and head- 
shot. Over and over again . . . 
Now there's an easier and 
cheaper way to get yourself 
out there, through 
8xlOGlossy.com 
The site is run by 
20-20 INCITE 
productions, a 
self- described 
NY/CT "floating 
nmunity the- 
" For a small 



ARTS LINK FUND FOR U.S. ARTISTS AT INT'L FESTIVALS & 
EXHIBITIONS makes available $1.1 million annually to sup- 
port performing artists invited to int'l festivals & support U.S. 
representation at major int'l contempory visual arts exhibits. 
Deadlines: Applications must be postmarked by Jan. 14, May 
1, & Sept. 1, 2000 Contact: Arts Link, CEC Int'l Partners, 12 
West 31S1, New York, NY 10001; artslink@cecip.org 

BUCK HENRY SCREENWRITING SCHOLARSHIP: two $500 
scholarships to support work of students enrolled in screen- 
writing course of study. Sold or optioned scripts ineligible. 
Contact: American Film 
Institute (213) 856- 
7690. 



Smile for the Camera! 



CALIFORNIA ARTS 
COUNCIL offers vari- 
ous grants & programs 
for performing arts. 
Contact: CA Arts 
Council, 1300 I St, 
Ste. 930, Sacramento, 
CA 95814; (916) 322- 
6555; (800) 201- 
6201; fax: (916) 322- 
6575; cac@cwo.com; 
www.cac.ca.gov 

CA CCH MEDIA PRO- 
GRAM PLANNING 
GRANTS provide up to 
$750 to support devel- 
opment of major grant 
proposal & to pay for 
background research, 
consultations w/ hu- 
manities scholars & 
community reps., travel 
& similar activities nec- 
essary to develop pro- 
posal. Before applying, 
consult w/ CA Council 
for the Humanities staff. 
Deadlines: Feb. 1 & Aug. 
1. Contact: CCH, 312 
Sutter St., Ste. 601, San 
Francisco, CA 94108; 
(415) 391-1474; in LA 
(213) 623-5993; in San 
Diego (619) 232-4020; 
www.calhum.org 

CREATIVE PROJECT GRANTS: Subsidized use of VHS, inter- 
format & 3/4" editing suite for ind. creative projects. Doc, 
political, propaganda, promotional & commercial projects 
not eligible. Editor/instructor avail. Video work may be done 
in combination w/ super 8, Hi8, audio, performance, pho- 
tography, artists, books, etc. Studio incl. Amiga, special 
effects, A&B roll, transfers, dubbing, etc. Send SASE for 
guidelines to: The Media Loft, 463 West St., #A628, New 
York, NY 10014; (212) 924-4893. 

EASTMAN SCHOLARS PROGRAM: Colleges & Univs. in U.S. 
& Canada which offer a BA/BS/BFA, MA/MA/MFA in film or 
film production may nominate two students for $5,000 schol- 
arships. Deadline: June 15. For nomination form, write to 
Betsy A. McLane, Int'l Documentary Association, 1551 S. 
Robertson Blvd., Ste. 201, Los Angeles, CA 90035. 



cmematograpners, nne 

artists — are also availa 



54 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 






JU-±*J.l 



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EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION CENTER provides grants & pre- 
sentation funds to electronic media/film artists & organiza- 
tions. Program provides partial assistance; maximum amount 
varies. Presentations must be open to public; limited-enrol- 
ment workshops & publicly supported educational institutions 
ineligible. Appl. reviewed monthly. Deadline: ongoing. Contact: 
Program Dir. , Experimental TV Center, 109 Lower Fairfield Rd. r 
Newark Valley, NY 13811; (607) 687-4341. 

FUND FOR JEWISH DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING offers 
grants from $5,000-$50,000 for production/completion of 
original films & videos that interpret Jewish history, culture & 
identity to diverse public audiences. Applicants must be U.S. 
citizens or permanent residents. Priority given to works-in- 
progress that address critical issues, combine artistry & 
intellectual clarity, can be completed within one year of 
award & have broadcast potential. Deadline: April 4. Contact: 
Nat'l Foundation for Jewish Culture, 330 7th Ave., 12th fl, NY, 
NY 10001; (212) 629-0500 x. 205. 

IDA/DAVID L. WOLPER STUDENT DOCUMENTARY ACHIEVE- 
MENT AWARD is a $1,000 honorarium presented annually to 
recognize exceptional achievement in nonfiction film & video at 
university level. Films & videos must be produced by registered 
students & completed between 1/1/99 & 4/30/00. Winner is 
honored at 15th Annual IDA Awards Gala on Oct. 29, has film 
screened at Docufest on Oct. 30 & receives $1,000 certificate 
from Eastman Kodak for film stock. Deadline: June 15. 
Contact: IDA Awards, 1551 S. Robertson Blvd., Ste. 201, L.A., 
CA, 90035; (310) 284-8422; fax! 785-9334; ida@artnet.net 

INDEPENDENT TELEVISION SERVICE considers proposals 
for new, innovative programs & limited series for public TV on 
on-going basis. No finished works. New initiative, DV'99, 
announced, where ITVS seeks 30 & 60 min. digital video pro- 
jects shot w/ budgets of up to $125,000. New productions or 
works-in-progress okay. Deadline: Oct. 15, 2000. For all 
queries, contact: ITVS, 51 Federal St., Ste. 401, San 
Francisco, CA 94107; (415) 356-8383; www.itvs.org 

JOHN D. & CATHERINE T MACARTHUR FOUNDATION provides 
partial support to selected doc series & films intended for nat'l 
or int'l broadcast & focusing on an issue w/in one of 
Foundation's two major programs (Human & Community 
Development; Global Security & Sustainability). Send prelim. 2- 
to 3-page letter to: Alice Myatt, John D. & Catherine T. 
MacArthur Foundation, 140 S. Dearborn St., Ste. 1 100, Chicago, 
IL 60603; (312) 726-8000; 4answers@macfdn.org; 
www.macfdn.org 

NATIONAL ASIAN AMERICAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
ASSOCIATION provides funding for independent productions 
of new Asian American programs for public television. NAATA 
will give awards ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 for pro- 
duction only. Deadline: June 4 (receipt, not postmark). NAATA 
Media Fund, 346 9th St. 2 fl., San Francisco, CA 94103; 
(415) 863-0814; mediafund@naatanet.org 

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES' Division of 
Public Programs provides grants for the planning, scripting & 
production of film, television & digital media projects that 
address humanities themes. Appl. deadline: Feb. 1. (plan- 
ning, scripting & production grants only). Contact: NEH, (202) 
606-826; publicpgms@neh.org; download appl. guidelines 
from: www.neh.gov/html/guidelin/pub_prog.html 

NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANTIES: Summer 
Seminars & Institutes for college and university teachers. 
Seminars incl. 15 participants working in collaboration w/ 



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one or two leading scholars. Institutes provide intensive col- 
laborative study of texts, historical periods & ideas to under- 
grad teaching in the humanties. Seminars also avail, for K- 
12 teachers teaching in public, private & church-affiliated 
schools. Deadline: March 1. Detailed info & applic. materials 
are avail, from project directors. Contact: (202) 606-8463; 
sem-inst@neh.gov; www.neh.gov 

NEW DAY FILMS: premiere distribution cooperative for social 
issue media, seeks energetic independent film & videomak- 
ers w/ challenging social issue documentaries for distrib. to 
nontheatrical markets. Now accepting applications for new 
membership. Contact: New Day Films 22D Hollywood Ave., 
Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ 07423; (415) 332-7172; www.newday.com 

NEWENGLANDFILM.COM is a unique online resource that 
provides local film & video professionals w/ a searchable 
Industry Directory, listings of local events, screenings, jobs, 
calls for entries & upcoming productions, in addition to film- 
maker interviews & industry news. Reaching over 11,000 
unique visitors each month. All articles & listings on the sites 
are free to read: www.nefilm.com 

NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS' Individual Artists 
Program: production funds avail, for video, radio, audio, 
installation work & computer-based art. Max. award: 
$25,000. Artists must be sponsored by nonprofit org. 
Deadline: March 1. For additional info, contact Don Palmer, 
Director, Individual Artists Program, NYSCA, 915 Broadway, 
New York, NY 10010; (212) 387-7063; dpalmer@nysca.org 

NEXT WAVE FILMS, funded by Independent Film Channel, 
offers finishing funds & other vital support to emerging film- 
makers. Focus is on English language, feature-length films 
(fiction or non-fiction) that will be released theatrically. 
Contact: Next Wave Films, 2510 7th St., Ste. E, Santa 
Monica, CA 90405; (310) 392-1720; fax: 399-3455; 
launch@nextwavefilms.com; www.nextwavefilms.com 

OCTOBER EVENT GRANTS: NY Council for the Humanities 
celebrates State Humanities Month (Oct. '00) a celebration of 
history, culture & human imagination w/ awards for local 
programming which reflect diversity of humanities institu- 
tions & subjects. Deadline: May 1. Contact: NYCH, 150 
Broadway, Ste. 1700, NY NY 10038; (212) 233-1131; fax: 
233-4607; hum@echonyc.com; www.culturefront.org 

OPPENHEIMER CAMERA: new filmmaker grant equip, pro- 
gram offers access to professional 16mm camera system for 
first serious new productions in dramatic, doc, exp, or narra- 
tive form. Purely commercial projects not considered. Provides 
camera on year-round basis. No applic. deadline, but allow 10 
week min. for processing. Contact: Film Grant, Oppenheimer 
Camera, 666 S. Plummer St., Seattle, WA 98134; (206) 467- 
8666; fax: 467-9165; filmgrant@oppenheimercamera.com 

PACIFIC PIONEER FUND offered by Film Arts Foundation to 
doc filmmakers living in CA. OR & WA. Limited to orgs certified 
as public charities, which control selection of individual recip- 
ients & supervise their projects. Grants range from $1,000- 
$8,000 w/approx. $75,000 awarded annually. Deadlines: Feb. 
1, May 15 & Oct. 1. For proposal summary sheet, send SASE 
to: Film Arts Foundation, 346 9th St., 2nd fl., San Francisco, 
CA 94103; (415) 454-1133; www.pacificpioneerfund.org 

PANAVISION'S NEW FILMMAKER PROGRAM provides 
16mm camera pkgs. to short, nonprofit film projects of any 
genre, incl. student thesis films. Send SASE w/ 55? stamp to: 
Kelly Simpson, New Filmmaker Program, Panavision, 6219 
DeSoto Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91367. 



PAUL ROBESON FUND FOR INDEPENDENT MEDIA solicits 
projects addressing critical social & political issues w/ goal 
of creating social change. Funding for radio projects in all 
stages of prod.; film & video projects in preproduction or dis- 
tribution stages only. Grants range from $3,000-$8,000. 
Deadline: May 15. Contact: Vivianna Bianchi, Program 
Officer, The Funding Exchange, 666 Broadway, #500, NY NY 
10012; (212) 529-5300. 

PEN WRITER'S FUND & PEN FUND for writers & editors w/ 
AIDS. Emergency funds, in form of small grants given each 
year to over 200 professional literary writers, incl. screen- 
writers, facing financial crisis. PEN's emergency funds not 
intended to subsidize writing projects or professional devel- 
opment. Contact: PEN American Center, 568 Broadway, New 
York, NY 10012-3225; (212) 334-1660. 

ROY W. DEAN VIDEO GRANT open for submissions. Grant 
pkg. worth over $50,000 in products & services and restrict- 
ed to docs. Deadline: Jan. 31. Appl. & guidelines avail, on 
web site. Contact: Kelsie Chance, Dir. of Grant Development, 
Studio Film & Tape, Attn: Roy W. Dean Video Grant. 630 9th 
Ave., 8 fl., New York, NY 10036; (212) 977-9330; (800) 444- 
9330; www.sftweb.com 

SOROS DOCUMENTARY FUND supports mt'l doc films & 
videos on current & significant issues in human rights, free- 
dom of expression, social justice & civil liberties. Two project 
categories considered for initial seed funds (grants up to 
$15,000), projects in production or post (average grant 
$25,000, but max. $50,000). Highly competitive. Contact: 
Soros Doc. Fund, Open Society Institute, 400 W. 59th St., NY, 
NY 10019; (212) 548-0600; www.soros.org/sdf 

STANDBY PROGRAM provides artists & nonprofits access to 
broadcast quality video postproduction services at reduced 
rates. For guidelines & appl. contact: Standby Program. Box 
184, NY NY 10012-0004; (212) 219-0951; fax: 219-0563; 
www.standby.org 

US-MEXICO FUND FOR CULTURE, sponsored/funded by 
Natl Fund For Culture & the Arts, Bancomer Cultural 
Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation & U.S. -Mexico 
Commission for Educational & Cultural Exchange & Mex-Am 
Cultural Foundation, announces binational artist proposals. 
Deadline: April 15. Contact: US-Mexico Fund For Culture, 
Londres 16, RB., Col. Juarez, 06600, Mexico, D.F. Mexico; 
(525) 592-5386; fax: 566-8071; usmexcult@laneta. 
apc.org; www.fideicomisomexusa.org.mx 

VISUAL STUDIES WORKSHOP MEDIA CENTER in Rochester, 
NY. accepts proposals on ongoing basis for its Upstate Media 
Regrant Program. Artists, ind. producers & nonprofits award- 
ed access at reduced rates, prod. & postprod. equipment for 
work on noncommercial projects. For appl., tour, or more info, 
call (716) 442-8676. 

VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS offer seminars on 
"Copyright Basics," "Not-for-profit Incorporation & Tax 
Exemption" & more. Reservations must be made: (212) 319- 
2910. 



VOLUNTEER AT AIVF! 

Work 60 flexible hours over 3 months 
& receive a year's membership to 

AIVF. For more info call: 
(212) 807-1400 x. 235 or x. 237 



56 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



.£i£3 J! -3*^=3^=3 , 



CONTACT: [scott@aivf.org] DEADLINES: 1ST OF EACH 

month, 2 months prior to cover date (e.g. 
march 1 for may issue). classifieds of up to 240 
characters (incl. spaces & punctuation) cost 
$25/issue for aivf members, $35 for nonmem- 
bers; 240-480 characters cost $45/issue for 
members, $65/nonmembers; 480-720 characters 
cost $60/issue for members, $90/nonmembers. 
include valid member id#. ads exceeding 
requested length will be edited. all copy 
should be typed & accompanied by a check or 
money order payable to: fivf, 304 hudson st., ny, 
ny 10013. to pay by credit card, incl. card type 
(visa/mc/amex); card #; name on card; exp date; 
billing address & daytime phone. ads running 
5+ times receive $5 discount per issue. 

Buy • Rent • Sell 

DP w/ Canon XL-1. Beta-SP deck rental avail. I shoot all for- 
mats: film/video. Nonlinear editing w/ all video formats. 12 
years exp. w/ Academy Award nomination. Affordable rates. 
DMP Productions (212) 967-1667; www.members.tripod. 
com/~dmpfilm 

DV DECK FOR RENT from $60/day. Use as source machine 
for nonlinear editing or to make digital-to-digital Firewire 
dubs (back up those masters!). Also rent DV cameras. 
Delivery available. (718) 398-3750. 

FOR RENT: OFF-LINE AVID; We will beat any price either in 
your space or our beautiful, spacious, and comfortable 
Chelsea location on West 27th St. Avid 400, Beta deck, 36GB 
storage. Free cappuccino. Call (212) 579-4294. 

FOR RENT: SONY 3-CHIP DIGITAL CAMERA (DCR-VX1000). 
Also available: mic, light & tripod. Negotiable rates for both 
short & long-term rentals. Please call (718) 284-2645. 

FOR SALE: Panasonic AGEZ1 miniDV camcorder, 3-chip. 
Batteries. $1,800. Call (203) 226-8313. 

NYC AVID FOR RENT: Media Composer 1000, AVR 77 offline 
& online, our editor or yours. Graphics too. Plenty of storage, 
24 hour access, perfect location at B'way & Houston. We'll 
beat any price. (212) 253-9296; TheDocTank@aol.com 

SOHO AUDIO RENTALS: Time code DATs, RF diversity mics, 
playback systems, pkgs. Great rates, great equipment & 
great service. Discounts for AIVF members. Larry (212) 226- 
2429; sohoaudio@earthlink.net 

VIDEO DECKS/EDIT SYSTEMS/CAMERAS FOR RENT: I deliv- 
er! Beta-SP Deck (Sony UVW-1800) $150/day, $450/wk. DV 
deck $150/day. S-VHS offline edit system $450/wk. Sony 
DVCAM 3-chip camera $125/day. Lights, tripods, mics & 
mixers. David (212) 362-1056. 

WANNA SHOOT UNDERCOVER? Rent a broadcast quality 
Digital Video hidden camera system for only $250/day. Use 
as a Purse Cam, Shirt Cam, or Tie Cam. Used by HBO & all 
the networks. Call Jonathan, Mint Leaf Productions (718) 
499-2829. 

Distribution 

16 YEARS AS AN INDUSTRY LEADER! Representing out- 
standing video on healthcare, mental health, disabilities & 
related issues. Our films win Oscars, Emmys, Duponts, 



Freddies & more. Join us! Fanlight Productions: 
4113; www.fanlight.com 



937- 



A-f- DISTRIBUTOR since 1985 invites producers to submit 
quality programs on VHS w/ SASE for distributor considera- 
tion. Mail to Chip Taylor Communications; 15 Spollett Dr., 
Deny NH 03038; www.chiptaylor.com 

ANGELCITIVIDEO seeks films and videos of all types for dis- 
tribution (323) 461-4086. 

AQUARIUS HEALTH CARE VIDEOS: Award-winning distribu- 
tor of outstanding videos because of outstanding producers. 
Join our collection of titles on disabilities, mental health, 
aging, nursing, psychosocial issues, children & teen issues. 
For educational/health markets. Leslie Kussmann, 5 
Powderhouse Lane, Sherbom, MA 01770; (508) 651-2963; 
www.aquariusproductions.com 

ATA TRADING CORP., actively & successfully distributing 
independent products for over 50 years, seeks new program- 
ming of all types for worldwide distribution into all markets. 
Contact: (212) 594-6460; fax: 594-6461. 

INTERNET DISTRIBUTOR seeks quality independent films for 
home video & other sales. We offer producers a significant 
piece of the gross, based on rights pkg. Check our web site 
for details & submission info: www.indie-underground.com 

LOOKING FOR AN EDUCATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR 7 Consider 
the University of California. We can put 80 years of success- 
ful marketing expertise to work for you. Kate Spohr: (510) 
643-2788; www-cmil.unex.berkelev.edu/media/ 

SEEKING EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS on guidance issues such as 
violence, drug prevention & parenting for exclusive distribution. 
Our marketing gives unequaled results. Call Sally Germain at 
The Bureau for At-Risk Youth: (800) 99-YOUTH x 210. 

THE CINEMA GUILD, leading film/video/multimedia distrib, 
seeks new doc, fiction, educational & animation programs for 
distribution. Send videocassett.es or discs for evaluation to: 
The Cinema Guild, 1697 Broadway, Ste. 506, NY, NY 10019; 
(212) 246-5522; TheCinemaG@aol.com; Ask for our 
Distribution Services brochure. 

Freelancers 

35MM/16MM PROD. PKG w/ cinematographer. Complete stu- 
dio truck w/ DP's own Arri 35BL, 16SR, HMIs, dolly, jib crane, 
lighting, grip, Nagra . . . more. Ideal 1-source for the low-bud- 
get feature! Call Tom today for booking. (201) 741-4367. 

A LEGACY PRODUCTIONS, renowned documentarians for HBO 
et al„ now offers video production/post services. Beta/Digital/ 
Hi-8 formats & state-of-art nonlinear editing at ridiculously 
fair rates. Steve (212) 807-6264; mani@interport.net 

AATON CAMERA PKG. Absolutely perfect for independent fea- 
tures. Top of the line XTR Prod w/ SI 6, time code video, the 
works! Exp DP w/ strong lighting & prod skills wants to col- 
laborate in telling your story. Andy (212) 501-7862; 
circa@interport.net 

ACCLAIMED & UNUSUAL instrumental band can provide 
music for your next project. Contact "Magonia" for demo: 
(781) 932-4677; boygirl@mediaone.net; www.magonia.com 

ACCOUNTANT/BOOKKEEPER/CONTROLLER: Experience in 
both corporate & nonprofit sectors. Hold MBA in Marketing & 



Accounting. Freelance work sought. Sam Sagenkahn (212) 
481-3576. 

ANDREW DUNN, Director of Photography/camera operator 
Arri35 BL3, Aaton XTR prod S16, Sony DVCAM. Experience in 
features, docs, TV & industrials. Credits: Dog Run, Strays, 
Working Space/Working Light. (212) 477-0172: 
AndrewD158@aol.com 

AVID SUITE: AVR 77 with or without experienced editor. 
Available for long term or short term projects. Comfortable 
room with large windows, sofa and 24 hr access. Please 
contact Andre at Viceroy Films: (212) 367-3730 

AWARD-WINNING EDITOR, w/ Avid and Beta SP facility. 
Features, shorts, doc, music videos, educational, industrials, 
demos. Trilingual: Spanish, English, Catalan. Nuna Olive- 
Belles (212) 627-9256. 

BETA SP & DVCAM Videographer with both cameras, lights, 
monitors, mics & wireless. Very portable, lightweight & I'm fast. 
Experience includes: documentaries, industrials, fundraisers & 
fashion. Please call John Kelleran (212) 334-3851. 

BETA SP VIDEOGRAPHER, skilled in everything from exterior 
handheld to Rembrandt interior lighting styles, seeking inter- 
esting projects to shoot. Has attractive Sony Betacam SR 
cool sets of lights & sensitive microphones. Willing to travel. 
Yitzhak Gol (718) 591-2760. 

BRENDAN C FLYNT: Director of Photography w/ many fea- 
ture & short film credits. Owns 35 Arri BL3, Super 16/16 
Aaton, HMIs, Tungsten & dolly w/ tracks. Awards at Sundance 
& Raindance. Call for quotes & reel at (212) 226-8417; 
www.dp-brendanflynt.com 

BROADCAST ENGINEER, 15 yrs. exp. Has Betacam SP loca- 
tion package. 3-chip mini DV. Looking to work on projects. 
Michael (212) 691-1311. 

CAMERAPERSON: Visual storyteller loves to collaborate, 
explore diverse styles & formats. Brings passion & productivity 
to your shoot. Award-winner w/ latest Super/ Std.16 Aaton XTR 
prod, package. Todd (718) 222-9277; wacass@concentric.net 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ reg/S-16mm Aaton, video-tap, 
lighting gear & more. Digital video too. Collaborations in 
features, shorts, docs, music videos & other compelling 
visions. Kevin Skvorak, reel & rates (718) 782-9179; 
kevskvk@inx.net 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ Arri 16SR package & 35IIC, w/ over 
15 years in the industry. Credits incl. 2nd unit. FX & experi- 
mental. Looking for interesting projects. Will travel. Theo 
(212) 774-4157; pager: (213) 707-6195. 

COMPOSER: Experienced, award-winning Yale conservatory 
grad writes affordable music in any style that will enhance 
your project. Save money without compromising creativity. 
Full service digital recording studio. FREE demo CD/initial 
consultation/rough sketch. Call Joe Rubenstein; (212) 242- 
2691; joe56@earthlink.net 

COMPOSER: MFA (NYU/Tisch) and extensive experience with 
theater, dance & Sundance filmmakers. Will work with any 
budget in styles ranging from classical to drum & bass to 
African-Hungarian jazz. Low budget services include digital 
studio & live cello. Contact Raul Rothblatt (212) 254-0155; 
deblatt@mterport.net 



January February _\\Y THE INDEPENDENT 57 






COMPOSER: Perfect music for your project. Orchestral to 
techno — you name it! Credits incl. NFL, PBS, Sundance, 
Absolut. Bach, of Music, Eastman School. Quentin Chiappetta 
(718) 752-9194; (917) 721-0058; qchiap@el.net 

COMPOSER Miriam Cutler loves to collaborate with filmmak- 
ers — features, docs, animation, even circus. Highlights-. 1997 
Sundance winner: Licensed to Kill; 1998 Peabody winner The 
Castro-, 1999 POV: Double Life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez & 
much more; (323) 664-1807; email: mircut@pacificnet.net 

COMPOSER: Original music for your film or video project. 
Credits include NYU film projects and CD. Will work with any 
budget. Complete digital studio. NYC area. Call Ian O'Brien: 
(201) 432-4705; iobrien@bellatlantic.net 

COMPOSER Award-winning, experienced, will creatively score 
your film/TV/video project in any musical style. Extensive cred- 
its incl. nat'lly released features, TV dramas, documentaries, 
animation, on Networks, MTV, Disney, PBS. Columbia MA in 
composition; full digital studio; affordable. Demo reel avail- 
able. Elliot Sokolov (212) 721-3218; Elliotsoko@aol.com 

COMPOSERS-PRODUCERS for film, TV, video, all media. 
Award-winning original music, rock, orchestral, techno, jazz. 
No project too large, too small. Free VHS demo. Info: (800) 
349-SOUND; juliajohn@soundmechanix.com 

CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ lighting director 
background. Specialty films my specialty. Can give your film 
that unique "look." 16mm & 35mm packages avail. Call 
Charles for reel: (212) 295-7878. 

DIGITAL VIDEO Videographer/D.P, with Canon XL- 1 video- 
cam; prefer documentaries, shorts and less traditional pro- 
jects; documentation for dance, music and performance. 
Alan Roth (718) 218-8065; alanroth@mail.com 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Award-winning, exp.. looking 
for interesting projects. Credits incl. features, docs & com- 
mercials in the U.S., Europe & Israel. Own complete Aaton 
Super 16 pkg & lights. Call Adam for reel. (212) 932-8255 or 
(917) 794-8226. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY looking for interesting fea- 
tures, shorts, ind. projects, etc. Credits incl. features, com- 
mercials, industrials, short films, music videos. Aaton 16/S- 
16 pkg avail. Abe (718) 263-0010. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Owner 16mm Aaton, plus 
35mm non-sync & hand-crank cameras. Experimental back- 
ground; creative look. Shooting credits incl.: Features, shorts, 
promos, commercials & music videos. New York-based, will 
travel. Carolyn (718) 930-7969. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ Beta SP production pkg., 
Sony VX-1000 digital camera, Bolex 16mm & super 8 cam- 
eras. Also lighting/grip equip. & wireless mics. Looking for 
interesting projects. Experienced. Reel available. Alan (212) 
260-7748. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ complete Arn-Zeiss 16mm 
pkg. Lots of indie film experience. Features, shorts and music 
videos. Save money and get a great looking film. Willing to 
travel. Rates are flexible and I work quickly. Matthew: (914) 
439-5459 or (617) 244-6730. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ own 35mm sync sound 
Arriflex BLII avail. Beautiful reel, affordable rates. Crew on 



standby. Work incl. several features, shorts, music videos. Travel 
no problem. Dave (718) 230-1207; page: (917) 953-1117. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ awards, talent, savvy & 
experience. Own Aaton 16mm/super 16mm pkg., 35mm 
package available. Call for my reel. Bob (212) 989-7992. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY with Am BL 3. Aaton XTR 
Prod S16/16mm, and Canon XL1 camera package is ready to 
shoot your project. Call Jay Silver at (718) 383-1325 for a 
copy of reel, hihosliver@earthlink.net 

DP w/ full postproduction support. Experienced film/video DP 
w/ 16:9 digital & 16mm film cameras, lighting/sound gear & 
complete nonlinear editing services. Call (212) 868-0028 
Derek Wan, H.K.S.C. for reel & low "shoot & post" bundle rates. 

EDITOR WITH AVID: Conscientious advocate of the Invisible 
Cut. Comfy West Village space. AVR77, 144 gigs, Beta, VHS, 
DV. MC/Visa. Bill G. (212) 243-1343; gcomvid@usa.net 

EDITOR AVAILABLE; experienced award-winning Avid editor 
available to work on interesting and innovative pieces. Will 
work dirt cheap for the chance to be challenged (docs, 
shorts, features). Call Kevin (212) 591-0589. 

EDITOR; Award-winning director/editor, whose last film was 
selected by Cannes, seeks editing projects. Avid available. 
(212) 352-4476. 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY: frequent contributor to "Legal 
Brief" columns in The Independent & other magazines, 
offers legal services to film & video community on projects 
from development thru distribution. Contact Robert L. Seigel, 
Esq., (212) 333-7000. 

EXPERIENCED CINEMATOGRAPHER with crew & equip- 
ment; 16mm & 35mm. Short films & features. Vincent (212) 
995-0573. 

FILM CONSULTANT: Award-winning writer/director (PBS, 
MTV, feature credits) acquisitions executive for Infinity Films, 
offers advice to filmmakers, critiques scripts & films. 
Reasonable rates. Nick Taylor (212) 414-5441. 

JOHN BASKO: Doc cameraman w/ extensive int'l network exp. 
Crisis in Kosovo; Civil wars in Beirut, El Salvador, Nicaragua-, 
Tiananmen Square student uprising. Equip, maintained by 
Sony. (718) 278-7869; fax: 278-6830; Johnbasko@aol.com 

LOCATION SOUND: Over 20 yrs sound exp. w/ time code 
Nagra & DAT, quality mics. Reduced rates for low-budget pro- 
jects. Harvey & Fred Edwards, (518) 677-5720; 
edfilms@worldnet.att.net 

MEDIA 100 NONLINEAR EDITING: Latest software & FX. 
Beta SP & digital camera packages, full lighting & audio sup- 
port gear. Steadicam & jib avail. Award-winning works. 
Reasonable rates. Pro Video Productions, Inc. (516) 366- 
2100; pvpprods@aol.com 

MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC! We have it! Original music & scoring. 
Stock avail, for temps. Digital sound design too. Free VHS demo. 
Info: (800) 349-SOUND; juliajohn@soundmechanix.com 

Opportunities • Gigs 

ADVENTUROUS PRODUCTION/CAMERA ASSISTANT wanted 
for documentary video productions. No pay. Fax letter of 
interest: (203) 226-2396; lisal31@erols.com 



ANGELCITI FILM MARKET Call for entries: Accepting sub- 
missions of films, videos & screenplays of all types for 
Market in LA and Festival Tour (323) 461-4256. 

ASSISTANT OR ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR of Television 
Production is sought to teach hands-on video production 
classes, to direct the TV production programs, and to oversee 
the upgrading of the TV production facilities. Leadership capa- 
bilities are essential. Must be well-versed in digital production 
& digital postproduction techniques & technologies. Duties will 
incl. advising on graduate thesis productions. A Master's 
degree is required. Rank & salary will depend on professional 
& teaching achievements. Deadline for submission of applica- 
tions is Jan. 15, 2000. Send a cover letter, resume, and three 
letters of reference to Jennifer Morcone, Manager of Faculty 
Services, Boston Univ., College of Comm., 640 Commonwealth 
Ave., Boston, MA 02215; (617) 353-8023; fax: 353-3405; 
jmorcone@bu.edu; www.bu/edu/com 

NY-BASED Suitcase Productions seeking experienced Avid 
editors and assistant editors for factual programs, magazine 
series and travel programs. Send reels and resumes to: 307 
7th Ave., Ste. 1607, NY NY 10001, Attn: David. 

TENURE TRACK POSITION, assistant professor rank, full- 
time. Salary commensurate w/ experience. MFA or equivalent 
req. Some teaching at university level preferred. Active screen- 
ing record & high level of professional activity relative to rank 
expected. Must be able to teach all aspects of 16mm film pro- 
duction in a dept. rooted in the experimental tradition w/ 
emphasis on narrative & doc short films. Must be able to teach 
film history & theory. Experience w/ video, digital editing & 
audio design req. Student advising, departmental & univ. com- 
mittee participation & broad engagement w/ the program's 
curriculum development is expected. University Maryland 
Baltimore College is a research univ. w/ a Visual Arts dept. 
comprised of 30 full-time faculty, associate staff & adjunct 
faculty & approx. 650 undergrad & 25 graduate MFA students. 
Begin Aug. 17, 2000. UMBC will conduct interviews at the CAA 
National Conference in Feb. Send letter of intent, C.V, 3 letters 
of reference, S.A.S.E & VHS tape of films postmarked by Jan. 
15. 2000 to Vin Grabill, Interim Chair, c/o Film Search 
Committee, Visual Arts Dept, Rm. Ill Fine Arts Building, 
UMBC, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. UMBC is an 
Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer & welcomes 
applications from minorities, women & disabled persons. 

WANTED: FREELANCE VIDEO CAMERAPERSON for corpo- 
rate & broadcast Betacam work. Mostly interviews & B-roll 
for newsmagazine programming. Must have good lighting 
skills & ability to work well w/ a variety of clients. Contact 
Dan: (212) 594-0322 &/or send a resume & reel (VHS) to: 
WTV, 208 W. 30th St, #208, NY NY 10001. 

WELL-ESTABLISHED freelance camera group in NYC seeking 
professional cameramen and soundmen w/ solid Betacam 
video experience to work w/ our wide array of clients. If qual- 
ified contact COA at (212) 505-1911. Must have video sam- 
ples/reel. 

Preproduction • Development 

BUDGETS/INVESTOR PACKAGE Experienced Line Producer 
will prepare script breakdowns, shooting schedules & 
detailed budgets. Movie Magic equipped. MC. Visa, Amex. 
Indie rates negotiable. Mark (212) 340-1243. 



58 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



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INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION COMPANY offers production 
services and personnel including directors, producers and 
videographers with DV camera package in the U.S. and 
Europe. Pahni Inc. (718) 243-0775 or visit www.pahni.com 

LOOKING FOR FILMMAKERS: B Commercial is an up-and- 
coming production company specializing in DV pre through 
post. We offer intelligent, creative and technical support for 
your vision, as well as low rates for NYC. Whether you are 
making a feature or a short, a documentary or fiction, B 
Commercial is your one-stop production team. Call for rates 
and information (201) 805-4170; (917)593-9117; 
Bmercial@aol.com 

PRO SCREENPLAY CONSULTANT for major studios, indies & 
private clients. Full analysis, commercial assessment. Great 
rates. Act Four Screenplays: (212) 567-8820 (M-F, 9-6 EST). 
Actfour4@aol.com; www.members.aol.com/Actfour4/ 

PRODUCTION OFFICE: West 85th in NYC, fully wired all 
office equip, Beta, 3/4" dubbing, animation. Avid room as 
needed. Short or long-term. Dan (212) 501-7878 x. 222. 

SU-CITY PICTURES: The Screenplay Doctor, The Movie 
Mechanic: We provide screenplay/treatment/synopsis/films- 
in-progress insight/analysis. Studio credentials include: 
Miramax & Warner Bros. Competitive rates. Brochure: (212) 
219-9224; www.su-city-pictures.com 

POSTPRODUCTION 

16MM & 35MM OPTICAL SOUNDTRACKS: If you want "High 
Quality" optical sound for your film, you need a "High 
Quality" optical sound negative. Mike Holloway, Optical 



Sound Chicago, Inc., 676 N. LaSalle St., #404, Chicago, IL 
60610; (312) 943-1771, oreves: (847) 541-8488. 

16MM CUTTING ROOMS: 8-plate & 6-plate fully equipped 
rooms, sound-transfer facilities, 24-hr access. Downtown, 
near all subways & Canal St. Reasonable rates. (212) 925- 
1500. 

16MM SOUND MIX only $100/hr. Interlocked 16mm picture 
& tracks mixed to 16 or 35mm fullcoat. 16mm/35mm post 
services: picture & sound editorial, ADR, interlock screening, 
16mm mag xfers (.06/ft), 16mm edgecoding (.015/ft). Call 
Tom (201) 741-4367. 

AVID 8000 & 1000 SUITES: Pleasant, friendly, comfortable 
Upper West Side location. Online & offline, AVR 77; reason- 
able & affordable rates. Tech support provided. (212) 595- 
5002; (718) 885-0955. 

AVID 8000: Why rent an Avid Media Composer 400 when you 
can get an 8000 for less? Avid Media Composer 8000; real- 
time FX; 4 channel pro-tools; 24 hr access. Seriously unbeat- 
able prices!! (212) 375-0785; (212) 982-7658. 

AVID EDITOR; A dozen feature credits. New Media Composer 
w/ AVR 77 & offline rez. Beta SP, DAT, extra drives, Pro-tools 
editing & mixing, and your Avid or mine. Fast and easy to get 
along with. Credit cards accepted. Drina (212) 561-0829. 

AVID EDITOR with own system: editing, training, skilled edi- 
tor, lowest prices in NYC. Third Eye Productions (212) 472- 
3315. 

AVID IN BROOKLYN, or delivered to your hood. Call everyone 
else and then call us! We'll work with you! Avid 1000, AVR 



77. Lowest prices around! Your editors or ours. No project too 
small or too big. Call Alex (718) 855-0216. 

BOSTON MEDIA 100 for rent Unbeatable indie rates. Top of 
the line system; broadcast quality; 32 gigs; Beta SP deck; 
tech support. Office w/ 24 hr access, full kitchen & beautiful 
garden. Award-winning editors. Astrea Films (617) 666- 
5122. 

BRODSKY & TREADWAY Film-to-tape masters. Reversal 
only. Regular 8mm, super 8, or archival 16mm to 1" or 
Betacam SR We love early B&W & Kodachrome. Scene-by- 
scene only. Correct frame rates. For appt. call (978) 948- 
7985. 

MEDIA 100 EDITING Broadcast quality, newest software. 
Huge storage & RAM. Betacam, 3/4", all DV formats, S-VHS, 
Hi-8 . . . Great location, friendly environment & low rates, 
tech support, talented editors & FX artists available: (212) 
868-0028. 

OUTPOST Digital Productions: 3 rooms, New Iced Avid Media 
Composer V-8 including AfterEffects on Ice, and 2 MedialOO 
V-5.0. Broadcast quality. Beta, DV, Hi8, VHS. Lots of drive 
space: great editors or self-operate. Low rates, free coffee. 
Williamsburg (718) 599-2385; www.outpostvideo.com 

PRODUCER WITH PRODUCTION OFFICE looking for low 
budget features to produce in New York. Will provide budget- 
ing/scheduling, production personnel. Video, shorts and fea- 
ture experience. Call Val at (212) 295-7878 or email me: 
zelda212@netscape.net 



FilmLogic* 2.0 

The Software Tool for 
Independent Filmmakers 

FilmLogic is the professional film 
match-back application with the 
affordable price. 





FilmLogic is designed for filmmakers 
who are shooting 35mm or 16mm film 
and want to edit electronically while 
finishing on film. Not another non- 
linear editing system, FilmLogic is an 
application which works with desktop 
digital video non-linear editing systems. 



Version 2.0 provides support for Avid, Premiere, 
Final Cut Pro, Media 100 and EditDV. FilmLogic 
tracks all the elements of the finished film in its 
on-line database and outputs negative cut lists, 
optical lists, pull lists, dupe lists, and more. For 
more information, visit the web-site at 
www.filmlogic.com, or call Focal Point Systems, 
Inc. in the USA toll-free at 877-209-7458. 




AUDIOA'IDEO 

POST PRODUCTION 



▲ 

VoiceWorks® 
Sound Studios 
212-541-6592 

Media 100 XS System 

After Effects/Boris Effects 
Scanner /Photoshop 

Sonic Solutions 
Digital Audio Editing 

Voice Over Casting 
Voice Over Recording 
Reasonable Rates!!! 



353 West 48th Street 2nd Moor 
New York, New York 10036 

FAX: 2 12-54 1-8 1 3»> 
K-Muil: vworksCtf iM»l.coni 



l.um.MA Ivhu.ux .\\V THE INDEPENDENT 59 



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www.aivf.org 



by Michelle Coe 

Unless otherwise indicated, events take place 
ac the AIVF office in New York City, 304 
Hudson (@ Spring). RSVPs are required for all 
events. For more information or to RSVP 
please visit www.aivf.org or our Events Hotline: 
(212) 807-1400 x. 301. Details of the fallow- 
ings events were being confirmed at presstime. 

January Events 

AIVF AFTER HOURS 

EXTENDED LIBRARY HOURS 

When: Every 1st Wed., 6-9 p.m. (Jan. 5, Feb. 2) 
Cost: free; open to members & nonmembers 

By popular demand, AIVF now offers extended 
Filmmakers Resource Library hours once a 
month. The AIVF library houses hundreds of 
titles, from essential directories {Hollywood 
Creative Directory, CPB Directory, Blu-Book, 
NYPG) to film histories and biographies, to 
back issues of trade mags (Variety, Hollywood 
Reporter) and film publications (Res, Filmmaker, 
MovieMaker, and 20 years of The Independent) , 
as well as unique reference materials. After 
Hours is also the perfect time to pick up the 
most recent AIVF Member Benefits list or to 
ask questions about your membership. 

State of the Arts 
MEET & GREET 

NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL 
ON THE ARTS 

When: call for details NYSCA 

Cost: free to members/$10 general public 

The New York State Council on the Arts was 
one of the first arts councils in the U.S. and 
from its earliest days has supported film and 
video. Long recognized for its leadership role, 
NYSCA takes particular care in its support of 
the media arts and assists virtually every aspect 
of film, video, radio, audio, installation work 
and web-based/computer projects — from pro- 
ject development to completion; through dis- 
tribution and even preservation. For more on 
NYSCA, see December's "Funder FAQ." 




DOCUMENTARY DIALOGUES: 

WHOSE STORY? 
A DISCUSSION OF OBJECTIVITY 

When: Wed., Jan 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Cost: free (AIVF members only) 

Documentary Dialogues is a bi-monthly discus- 
sion group comprising AIVF nonfiction film- 
makers. Topics encompass theoretical and 
philosophical perspectives on and approaches 
to independent film- and videomaking. This 
series facilitates the exchange of ideas and is a 
great way to meet new collaborators. 

Is nonfiction work true? objective? Is a news 
piece more true than an advocacy piece? Or 
less? How do we meter how much of what we 
see in a work is reflection of external reality, 
and how much has been detracted by its docu- 
mentation? As makers of nonfiction, what are 
our options to code works in such a way that 
elusive truth is identified as such — without 
weighing down the work's form? We'll tackle 
these questions during this group discussion. 

If you would like to bring an illustrative clip on 
VHS (series rules: under 3 rru'nutes, and you may 
not show your own work), please call Michelle Coe 
at x235 by January 10. 

IN BRIEF: 

HEALTH INSURANCE LOWDOWN 

When: Thursday, Jan. 13, 6:30-8 p.m. 
Cost: free; open to members & nonmembers 

Roy Assad of RBA Insurance Strategies will 
conduct an information session on AIVF's new 
HIP Group Plan. Take advantage of this 
detailed overview describing this affordable, 
comprehensive health plan. 

February Events 

UP CLOSE: CONVERSATIONS WITH FILMMAKERS 

ARTHUR DONG 

When: Mon. Feb 7, 7-9 p.m. 

Where: call for details 

Cost: $10/members; $20 general public 

Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Arthur 



Dong has combined the art of the visual medi- 
um with an investigation of social issues in his 
many documentaries. With a focus on Asian 
American concerns and gay and lesbian issues, 
Dong's productions have garnered over 100 
international and national awards, including 
the Peabody Award, an Oscar nomination, 
multiple Emmy nominations, and two GLAAD 
Media Awards. He has received grants from 
prestigious organizations, including, the 
Rockefeller Foundation, the NEA, ITVS, and 
the Paul Robeson Fund. In addition, he has 
produced for PBS. Dong will discuss and show 
excerpts from work including Licensed to Kill, 
Coming Out Under Fire, and Sewing Woman. 
(For more info: www.deepfocusproductions.com) 

IN BRIEF: 

TAXES FOR INDEPENDENTS 

When: Tues. Feb 8, 6:30-8:30p.m. 
Cost: $10/members; $20 general public 

Join CPAs Martin Bell (Bell 6k Co) and Paul 
Iacobello (Sciarrino & Co.) for a 
workshop on filing your taxes as an 
independent contractor or a small 
business. Following a general 
Q6kA, participants may opt for a 
five minute session with either 
CPA to discuss more specific 
concerns. Bell and Iacobello are 
participants in the AIVF Trade 
Discount Program and offer dis- 
counts to members on a year- 
round basis. Here is your chance 
to forge new relationships! 

MEET & GREET: 

THE SHOOTING GALLERY 

When: Tues., Feb 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Cost: Free to members/$10 general public 

The Shooting Gallery was created as an unpar- 
alleled resource for filmmakers and distributes 
the films it produces and acquires both domes- 
tically and internationally. Under its Gun For 
Hire subsidiary, the company has 400,000 
square feet of production space throughout 




60 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



d 



2) 



North America, offering a range of production 
and post-production services to the film, televi- 
sion, commercial video and new media arenas. 
Don't miss this unique opportunity to learn 
more about this independent studio and meet 
development and acquisitions staff. 

ADVOCACY FORUM: 

TEACH HARLEM 

A DIGITAL DIVIDE WORKSHOP 

When: Feb. 24-25; call (212) 807-1400 x. 236 
for additional details. 

As part of the Teach Harlem project, AIVF 
along with Libraries for the Future, CUNY, and 
The Harlem Partnership, present a panel and 
discussion event addressing new technology 
issues of particular concern to independent 
media producers. Tune in for more details! 

MEET YOUR MAKER: 

PEGI VAIL & MELVIN ESTRELLA 

When: Tues., Feb 29th, 7-9 p.m. 
Cost: $10 (AIVF members only) 

Meet Your Maker is a series of peer workshops 
allowing filmmakers to share resources and 
learn from one another. The featured artist 
shares her/his business & creative strategies in 
completing a specific project from development 

through ex- 
hibition. 

Husband 
and wife pro- 
ducing team 
PegiVail(dir.) 
and Melvin 
E s t r e 1 1 a 
(cinema- 
tographer) 
will present a 
case study of 
The Dodgers 
Symphony. The 30 minute film, featuring the all- 
volunteer band that played for the Brooklyn 
Dodgers, won a CINE Golden Eagle, was broad- 
cast on 13/WNET and the IFP/North 
Independents In Flight series on Northwest 
Airlines, and screened in museums and film festi- 
vals in the U.S. and abroad. 

AIVF co -sponsors 
SELECT SCREENINGS 

AT THE WALTER READE THEATRE 

Presented by the Film Society of Lincoln 
Center. For more info, contact (212) 875-5600 
or www.filmlinc.com. 




The AIVF Salons provide an opportunity for 
members to discuss work, meet other indepen- 
dents, share war stories, and connect with the 
AIVF community across the country. Be sure 
to contact your local Salon Leader to confirm 
date, time, and location of the next meeting! 

Due to increased activity in the Los Angeles area we 
are looking for enthusiatic members to start a salon. 
Please call (212) 807-1400 x. 236 for an application. 

See the salons section at www.aivf.org 
for further information. 

Albany, NY: 

When: First Wednesday of each month, 6:30pm 
Where: Borders Books & Music, Wolf Rd. 
Contact: Mike Camoin, (518) 489-2083; 
mike@videosforchange.com 

Austin, TX: 

When: Last Monday of each month, 7 pm 
Where: Yarbrough Library, 2200 Hancock Drive 
Contact: Rebecca Milkier, (512) 388-7605; 
rlmillner@hotmail.com 

Atlanta, GA: 

When: Second Tuesday of the month, 7 pm 

Where: Redlight Cafe, Amsterdam Outlets 

off of Monroe Dr. 

Contact: Mark Wynns, IMAGE, 

(404) 352-4225 x. 12; mark@imagefv.org, 

geninfo@imagefv.org 

Birmingham, AL: 

Contact: Pat Gallagher, (334)221-7011; 
sstories@mindspring.com 

Boston, MA: 

Contact: Fred Simon, (508) 528-7279; 
FSimon@aol.com 

Charleston, SC: 

When: Last Thursday of each month 6:30-8:45pm 

Where: Charleston County Library Auditorium, 

68 Calhoun St. 

Contact: Peter Paolini, (843) 805-6841; 

filmsalon@aol.com 

Cleveland, OH: 

Contact: Annetta Marion and Bernadette 
Gillota, (216) 781-1755; AnnettaLM@aol.com, 
OhioIndieFilmFest@juno.com 

Dallas, TX: 

Contact: Bart Weiss, (214) 999-8999; 
bart@videofest.org 

Denver/Boulder, CO: 

Monthly activist screenings: 

When: Second Thursday of the month, 7 pm 

Where: Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice 

Center, 1520 Euclid Ave. 

Other events: Call tor date and location. 

Contact: Jon Stout, (303) 442-8445; 

programming@fstv.org or Diane Markrow, 

(303)449-7125 



Lincoln, NE: 

When: Second Wednesday of the month, 5:30 pm 

Contact: Lori Vidlak, (402) 476-5422 or 

dot@inetnebr.com, 

www.lincolnne.com/nonprofit/nifp/ 

Manhattan, NY 

When: 3rd Monday of each month, 5-8 pm 

Where: Baby Jupiter, 170 Orchard Street 

( 1 block south of Houston, 2nd Ave stop on F) 

Contact: Joe Sullivan, (212) 242-3396 

New Brunswick, NJ: 

When: Last Wednesday of each month. 
Where: Cappuccino's Gourmet Cafe, Colonial 
Village Rte. 27 & Parsonage Rd., Edison, NJ. 
Contact: Allen Chou, (212) 904-1133; 
allen@passionriver.com; www.passionriver.com 

New Haven, CT: 

Contact: Jim Gherer, ACES Media Arts Center, 
(203) 782-3675; mediaart@connix.com 

Newport, RI: 

When: Second Monday of each month 
Contact: George Marshall, (401) 861-4445; 
flicksart@aol.com, www.film-festival.org 

Palm Beach, FL: 

Contact: Dominic Giannetti, (561) 575-2020 

Portland, OR: 

Contact: Beth Harrington, (360) 256-6254; 
betuccia@aol.com 

Rochester, NY: 

Contact: Chuck Schroeder, (716) 442-8286; 
www.members.tripod.com/rochaivf/index.html 

San Diego, CA: 

Contact: Paul Espinosa, (619) 284-9811 or 
espinosa@electriciti.com 

Seattle, WA: 

Contact: Joel Bachar, (206) 568-6051; 
joel@speakeasy.org; or visit 
www.speakeasy.org/blackchair/ 

Tampa, FL: 

Contact: Frank Mondaruli, (813) 690-4416; 
rmondarl@tampabay.rr.com 

Tucson, AZ: 

When/Where: First Monday of each month from 
6-8 pm at Club Congress, 311 E. Congress. 
Contact: Heidi Noel Brozek, (502) 326-3502, 
bridge@theriver.com; Rosarie Salerno, 
destiny@azstarnet.com; or visit 
http://access.tucson.org/aivf/ 

Washington, DC: 

Contact: DC Salon hotline, (202) 554-3263 x.4; 

sowande@bellatlantic.net 

Youngstown, OH: 

Contact: Art Byrd, The Flick Clique, 
artbyrdc" mindspring.com, or \ isil 
www.cboss.com/flickclique 



January/February -ViV THE INDEPENDENT 61 



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We provide artists and 
non-profit organizations access 
to broadcast quality video 
post-production services at 
discount rates. 



Film to Tape Transfer $1 75/hr. 

DigiBeta to DigiBeta OnLine $1 20/hr. 

InterFormat OnLine Editing $ 85/hr. 

Animation Stand $ 85/hr. 

Digital Audio Post $ 85/hr. 

All services include an Editor/Operator. 



Contact Us for Services & Info. 

PO Box 184 NY, NY 10012-0004 
Tel: 212.219.0951 
Fax: 212.219.0563 



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www2.infohouse.com/earthvideo 

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PRODUCTION POST PRODUCTION DUPLICATION 



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TEL: 212-242-0444 FAX: 212-242-4419 



DVD Independent Special 

includes encoding, authoring & one disc 

15min. -$800 30min. -$1200 
60 min. - $1 750 90 min. - $2000 



Media 100 Editing 

Production Packages 

Video Duplication 

Transfers & Conversions 



Film Festival Duplication Special 



20 VHS Tapes 

w/sleeves & labels 

Independents 

Only 



Don't miss the Film Society's Frederick 
Wiseman Retrospective: Jan 28-Feb 24- 
Check out the works of this master of direct 
cinema, including the U.S. premiere of his lat- 
est film Belfast, Maine, plus panel discussions. 
Tickets are just $6.50 for AIVF members. 

THE FIFTH NIGHT 

SCREENPLAY READING & SHORT FILM SERIES 

This acclaimed weekly program presents shorts 
followed by readings of feature screenplays. 
AIVF members receive discounted admission 
to the new series, The Late Late 5th Night 
Cine Club. For info: (212) 529-9329. 

NEW FILMMAKERS 

This on-going series screens shorts and features 
every Wednesday evening at Anthology Film 
Archives, NYC. For more info or to submit your 
film visit www.newfilmmakers.com. 



The American Movie 
Premiere a Strike! 

The New York premiere of American Movie was a 
smash success! AIVF members and film enthusiasts 
turned out in force for the film and AlVF's rowdy post- 
screening party at NY's hippest bowling alley. Many 
thanks to all who made the night so much ' 



American Movie creative team: (I to r) Coven director 


Mark Borchardt, co-producer Jim McKay, director/pro- 
ducer Chris Smith, producer Sarah Price, and co-pro- 
ducer Michael Stipe. 


Actor/director Frank 

Whaleywith 

director/AIVF board 

memher Rinharri 


• 


^^■Tm^hiMol 




m 


AIVF executive dii 
Elizabeth Peters 
actor Woody Han 












62 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



Q^s^^^^^r T^ T^!T!^% 



AIVF MEMBER BENEFITS & TRADE DISCOUNTS 



Point persons, additional contact information & discount 
codes are available to members at the AIVF website 
www.aivf.org/membership/mem_ben.html (note: you 
must provide your AIVF membership number to log on) 
or by leaving your mailing address and membership 
number at (212) 807-1400 x.506. If you're not yet a 
member, why not join today? This information was last 
updated 12/99 and is subject to change without notice. 

NEW BENEFITS! 

Homeowner, Auto & Production Insurance with CGA 

Associates 

Screenwriting Software with Final Draft, Inc. 

Script Clearances with Hollywood Script Research 

Legal Services with the Law Offices of Mark Litwak 

Editing Services with The Picture Room 

Health Insurance with RBA Insurance Strategies 

Communications Workshops & Synergistic Healing with 
The Voice of Hope 

Tax and Financial Services with Sciarrino & Company, 
CPAs 

AIVF OFFERS 

Discounts on Publications 

Get special prices on The AIVF Self-Distribution Toolkit, 
The AIVF Exhibitors Guide, The AIVF Guide to 
International Film and Video Festivals, The AIVF Guide to 
Distributors, and The Next Step. Back issues of The 
Independent Film and Video Monthly and other useful 
publications also available. See cernterfold card to order. 

AIVF Mailing List 

Reach a core group of folks who appreciate independent 
media! Printed on Avery labels for one-time use; AIVF 
member rate $450 (national list, approx. 4,500 records) 
or customize by region for $100 plus 100/record. 

Classified ads in The Independent 

The most-used resource for independents! Member rate: 
up to 240 characters (including spaces and punctuation): 
$25/issue ; 240-480 characters: $45; 480-720 charac- 
ters: $60, with discounts for ads running 5 or more times. 

Display ads in The Independent 

15% off book rate for our Business & Nonprofit mem- 
bers:; call for a media kit. Not available to individual 
members. 



AIVF Conference Room 

Conference room at our SoHo office, seats up to 20 with 
VHS video and 16mm projection. $30/hour for members 
only. Members only; call to reserve. 

Short-term Desk Rental 

Need a touch-down point during your trip to New York? 
Rent a desk and voice mail box at our SoHo office. Short- 
term only (one week & under); business hours 10-6 M-F 
(voicemail accessible anytime). Photo- copies & fax avail, 
at additional charge. $50/day for members only. 

TRADE DISCOUNTS 

Production Insurance 

Alliance Brokerage Corp. 

Established AIVF insurance program for owned equip- 
ment. All risk, world-wide replacement cost basis. $500 
annual premium gets you $14,000 of insurance coverage! 
Can include rentals for larger-budgeted projects. 

C & S International Insurance Brokers, Inc. 

Special discounted rates on commercial General Liability 
insurance. 

CGA Associates 

Special rates for AIVF members on all insurance needs for 
film/video projects. See also Homeowners & Auto 
Insurance below. 

Marvin S. Kaplan Insurance Agency, Inc. 

One-of-a-kind program for film/video production insur- 
ance. Offers coverage for owned or rented equipment, 
errors & omissions, and more at economical rates. 
Policies can be short or long-term and are available in all 
states. 

Homeowners & Auto Insurance 

CGA Associates 

Provides competitive automobile and homeowners cover- 
age to all AIVF members and their families. CGA also 
offers production insurance. 

Health Insurance 

Jeff Bader (New York, NY) 

Jeff Bader is an insurance broker eager to talk to you 

about various health plans that are available. 

RBA Insurance Strategies (New York, NY) 
Offers a true group discount with HIP for all New York- 
based members. It affords a discount of 20-30% with 
benefits not usually available to individuals. 
Teigit/CIGNA HealthCare 

Teigit administers CIGNA HealthCare plan. National cov- 
erage varies from state by state. 



Dental Insurance 

Teigit/CIGNA 

CIGNA offers a separate dental plan and premium. 

Stock & Expendibles 

Film Emporium (New York, NY) 

10% discount off Kodak and llford 16mm & 35mm 

film, and video and audiotape in all professional brands 

and formats. Complimentary consultations on production 

insurance. 

Rafik (New York, NY) 

25% discounts on used cassettes over $100, 10% on 
single invoices over $100 for video services, editing, 
duplication, film-to-tape transfers, and foreign video con- 
version. 

Studio Film and Tape (Los Angeles, CA) 
10% discount on new Fuji 16mm film, llford 16mm b/w 
film, Maxwell videotape in all formats, all editorial sup- 
plies including leader, mag stock, splicing tape, and com- 
puter data storage media. 

Studio Film and Tape (Chicago, ID 

10% discount on new Fuji film and llford B/W film. 

Studio Film and Tape (New York, NY) 
5% discount on film stock and all videotape stock avail- 
able in new and Ecotape. 

Production Resources 

Downtown Community Television Center (New York, NY) 
10-20% discount on DCTV video workshops and semi- 
nars; low-fee Avid & DVC camera rental for nonprofit pro- 
jects. 

East Light Productions (Baltimore, MD) 
30% discount on Avid editing or negotiable for projects. 
10% discount on Beta SP shoots, Sony 600 (switchable 
16x9 format), or Sony 70IS camera package. 

Edgewood Motion Picture and Video (Rutland, VT) 
25% off production (Betacam SP 3/4", ARRI 16mm and 
35mm), editing (Avid Media Composer 1000. Betacam 
SP/ 3/4" on-line) and audio mix (digital audio facilities). 

Film Friends (Miami, FL; New York, NY) 
20% discount on extensive range of equipment rentals: 
; camera, video, lighting, sound, grip, and Steadicam. 

Guerillaquip (New York, NY) 

15% discount on all grip and lighting equipment rentals. 

Hello World Communications (New York, NY) 
10% discount for walkies, audio, and video packages, 
dubbing, and our Discreet Logic (nonlinear edit 
system/offline and online). 



January/February AW THE INDEPENDENT 63 



Siloe* Sheet 9ntesmaUo*ml 

Video. & 4dm Qedwal 

2000 



Where the Independent 
Film Maker of Tomorrow 
Meets Today 

June 5th - 11th. 2000 

In the Wildest Little 
Town on Earth 

Hurley, Wisconsin 

For info & entries contact: 

Hurley Area Chamber of Commerce 

3 1 6 Silver Street Hurley, Wl. 54534 

(715)561-3561 or 561-4334 ,* 

Fax: (715) 561-3742 or our }?tfsxgW / 

website www.hurleywi.com </V" " 

email hurley@hurleywi.com 

Public Relations Office (7 1 5) 56 1 -5572 

email baje@portup.com 




non-linear video editing 



Cremate, 






in the comfort 



of a private edit suite 



component interformat studio: I 
betacam-sp,3/4",hi-8,s-vhs I 

3d animation/graphics/cg I 

1 



Video for Art's Sake 

Independent Post Production 
in the East Village 



Meg Hanley, Editor 

212.254.1106 



Island Media International (New York, NY) 
50% discount off all corporate rates on Avid editing ser- 
vices: Avid, Betacam SR DV cam-digital, film to tape and 
tape to film transfers, camera packages. 

Lichtenstein Creative Media (New York, NY) 

15% discount on mini-DV and DVcam dubs to Beta and 

equipment rental. 

Mill Valley Film Group (Mill Valley, CA) 
Independent documentary producers, established and 
award-winning, provide free consultation when you rent 
from us with 35% discounts on Media 100SX, Media 
lOONubus, Avid 400s, VHS cuts only system, and Beta SP 
production package. 

Open Studios (Vestal, NY) 

10-40% off digital audio/video editing, production and 
field shooting. (Includes audio postproduction, music, 
SFX, sound design, surround sound automated mixing, 
full video services with Betacam and D3 etc). 

The Post Office at Filmmaker's Collaborative (New 
York, NY) 

20-35% off rates for Avid Media Composer, off-line edit- 
ing, and digital camera rental. 

Soho Audio (New York, NY) 

10% discount on all daily equipment rentals. Deeper dis- 
counts on longer term rentals. 

PrimaLux Video (New York, NY) 
10% or more discounts (nonprofits encouraged) on ser- 
vices including: studio production facilities, remote pro- 
duction packages, and postproduction. 

Texcam (Houston, TX) 

Up to 15% discount on film camera packages (16mm and 

35mm). 

Video Decks To Go (New York, NY) 

10% discount on first time Beta-SP deck rentals of one 

week or more. 

Yellow Cat Productions (Washington, DC) 
15% off of a full day video shoot with a 2 person crew; 
15% off any Avid editing in charming townhouse on 
Capitol Hill. 

Labs & Transfer Houses 

Bee Harris Productions (Mt Vernon, NY) 

10% discount on all editing services and facilities (Avid. 

Beta SR 3/4", 16mm, 35mm, transfers, dubs). Producers 

of films, commercials, docs, corporate, and educational 

videos. 

CinePost (Atlanta, GA) 

20% discount on negative film processing (normally 
.15/foot); 20% on film-to-video transfers (Rank Cintel; 
normally $200/hr). 

DuArt Film and Video (New York, NY) 
Negotiable discounts on color negative developing, 
workprinting, blow-ups from 16mm and S16mm to 
35mm, and titles. 



tit 



53) 



OK TV, Inc. (New York, NY) 

10% on all services, including S16/16/35 dailies; sound 
transfers; titles and special effects; digital film-to-tape 
transfers; video editing. 

Rafik 

See Stock & Expendibles 

Editing & Postproduction 

Aries Post (Hollywood, CA) 

10% discount off rate card for all video postproduction 
services including: Beta Sp, Hi8, 3/4", SVHS, and DVC to 
Beta SP analog A/B editing and Avid nonlinear suite. 

Bee Harris Productions 

See Labs & Transfer Houses 

Diva Edit (New York, NY) 

10% discount on all editing services and facilities: Avid 

1000 and Avid 800 with film composer. 

Downtown Community Television Center 

See Production Resources 

DV8Video, Inc. (New York, NY) 

10% discount on all Avid editing services and duplication, 
Betacam SR Digital Betacam, DVC Pro, 3/4", Hi8, and 
VHS. 

East Light Productions 

See Production Resources 

Edgewood Motion Picture and Video 

See Production Resources 

GLC Productions (New York, NY) 

10-30% discount off book rate for audio postproduction 

services. ADR, sound design, SFX/foley, mix, ISDN phone 

patch. 

Harmonic Ranch (New York, NY) 

Discounts on sound editing, music, mixing, and sound 

design. 

Hello World Communications 

See Production Resources 

Island Media International 

See Production Resources 

Lichtenstein Creative Media 

See Production Resources 

Media Loft (New York, NY) 

5% discount on 3/4" VHS and interformat editing, titling, 
dubbing, special effects, Hi-8, Amiga computer, still pho- 
tography, slides, and photos to tape, S-8. 

Mercer Street Sound (New York, NY) 
50% discount from corporate rate for audio postproduc- 
tion services. 

Mill Valley Film Group 

See Production Resources 

Moondance Productions (New York, NY) 
10-30% discount (depending on hours) on all editing ser- 
vices: Avid, AVR-77, Media Log. All formats: Beta SR DVC 
Pro, DVcam, 3/4", VHS, D-7. Hi8. 



64 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 




ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT 
VIDEO AND FILMMAKERS 



About AIVF and FIVF 

Offering support for individuals and 
advocacy for the media arts field 
The Association of Independent Video 
and Filmmakers (AIVF) is a national 
membership organization of over 
5,000 diverse, committed, opinionated 
and fiercely independent film and 
video makers. AIVF is supported by 
the Foundation for Independent 
Video and Film (FIVF), a 501(c)(3) 
nonprofit offering a broad slate of 
education and information programs. 

To succeed as an independent you 
need a wealth of resources, strong 
connections, and the best information 
available. Whether through the pages 
of our magazine. The Independent 
Film 8r Video Monthly, or through 
the organization raising its collective 
voice to advocate for important 
issues, AIVF preserves your 
independence while reminding you 
you're not alone. 

Here's what AIVF 
membership offers: 

J JF1LM&VIDE0 MONTHLY 

"We Love This Magazine!!" 
-UTNE Reader- 
Membership provides you with a 
year's subscription to The Independent 
Thought-provoking features, artist 
profiles, news, and regular columns on 
business, technical and legal matters. 
Plus festival listings, distributor and 
funder profiles, funding deadlines. 



exhibition venues, and announcements 
of member activities, programs and 
services. Special issues highlight 
regional activity and focus on subjects 
including experimental media, new 
technologies, and media education 
Business and non-profit members 
receive discounts on advertising as 
well as special mention in each issue. 

INSURANCE 

Members are eligible to purchase 
discounted personal and production 
insurance plans through AIVF 
suppliers, including health insurance 
and production plans tailored to the 
needs of low-budget mediamakers. 

TRADE DISCOUNTS 

Businesses across the country offer 
AIVF members discounts on equipment 
and auto rentals, stock and expendibles, 
film processing transfers, editing 
shipping, and other production 
necessities. Members also receive 
discounts on purchases of the AIVF 
mailing list and classified ads in The 
Independent. 

WORKSHOPS, PANELS, 
AND SEMINARS 

Special events covering the whole 
spectrum of current issues and 
concerns affecting the field ranging 
from business and aesthetic to 
technical and political topics. 

INFORMATION 

Stay connected through www.aivf.org. 
Members are entitled to exclusive 
on-line services such as searchable 
databases and web-specific content 
published by The Independent. 



We also publish a series of 
practical resource books on 
international festivals, distribution, 
and exhibition venues, offered at 
discount prices to members (see the 
other part of this insert for a list). 

With over 600 volumes, our 
office library houses information on 
everything from preproduction to 
sample contracts, tailored to the 
needs of the independent producer. 

COMMUNITY 

AIVF Regional Salons occur in cities 
across the country. These member- 
organized, member-run get-togethers 
provide a unique opportunity for 
members and non-members alike to 
network exhibit, and advocate for 
independent media in their local 
area To find the salon nearest you 
check The Independent or visit the 
salon section of the AIVF website. If 
you're interested in starting a salon 
in your area, ask for our startup kit! 

ADVOCACY 

Over the past 25 years AIVF has 
been outspoken in our efforts to 
preserve the resources and rights of 
independent mediamakers, as well as 
to keep the public abreast of the 
latest issues concerning our 
community. Recent activities have 
included a successful campaign to 
restore the short documentary Oscar 
category, and to keep DBS providers 
accountable to the public. Members 
receive periodic advocacy alerts, 
information on current issues and 
public policy, and the opportunity to 
add their voice to collective actions. 



MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

INDIVIDUAL/STUDENT MEMBERSHIP 

Includes: one year's subscription to The Independent • access to group insurance plans • discounts 
on goods and services from over 80 affiliated Trade Partners • on-line or over-the-phone information 
services • discounted admission to seminars and events • book discounts • classifieds discounts • 
advocacy action alerts • eligibility to vote and run for board of directors • members-only web services. 

SUPPORTING MEMBERSHIP 

All of the above benefits extended to two members of the same household except for the year's 

subscription to The Independent which is shared by both. 

BUSINESS 8r INDUSTRY/NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIP 

All the above benefits (except access to insurance plans) with 3 one-year subscriptions to 

The Independent • representative may vote and run for board of directors • discounts on display 

advertising • special mention in each issue of The Independent 



LIBRARY/UNIVERSITY SUBSCRIPTION 

Year's subscription to The Independent for multiple readers 



JOIN AIVF TOPAY! 



MEMBERSHIP RATES Make checks payable to AIVF 

Individual □ $55/1 yr. □ $100/2 yrs. 

Supporting □ $95/1 yr. □ $150/2 yrs. 

Student □ $35/1 yr. □ $60/2 yrs. 

(enclose copy of current student ID) 

Business &- Industry □ $150/1 yr. 

Non-profit Organization □ $100/1 yr. 

LIBRARY/UNIVERSITY SUBSCRIPTIO N 

□ $75 domestic □ $90 foreign 



MAILING RATES 

Magazines are mailed second-class in the US 

□ First-class U.S. mailing - add $30 

□ Canada - add $15 

□ Mexico - add $20 

□ All other countries - add $45 



* Your additional contribution will help support programs of 
the Foundation for Independent Video and Film, a public, 
educational non-profit tax exempt under section 501(c)(3). 



Name 



Organization 

Address 

City 



\ 



State 



ZIP 



Weekday tel. 
Email 



Country 
fax 



Membership cost 

Mailing costs (if applicable) 

Additional tax-deductible contribution to FIV 

(please make separate check payable to FIVF) 

Total amount enclosed (check or money ordei 

Please bill my D Visa D Mastercard Q AmX 

Acct # 

Exp. date: / / 

Signature 



Make checks payable to AIVF 

Mail to AIVF, 304 Hudson St, 6th fL NY, NY 10013; or charge by phone (212) S07-1400 x236, by fax 

(212) 463-5519, or via our website www.aivf.org. Your first issue of The Independent will arrive in 4-6 weeks. 



Northeast Negative Matchers, Inc. (Springfield, MA) 
10% minimum discount on negative cutting services on 
any format. FREE use of 16mm or 35mm 8-plate 
Steenbeck editing suites. Call for details. 

NTV Studio Productions (New York, NY) 
10% discount on all editing services. Our edit suite 
includes: Sony BVE 2000 Editor, DVS 2000C Switcher, 
DME 3000 Multi Effects unit, MXP 2016 Mixing Console, 
and Chyron Max! The switcher allows for digital editing 
with Beta or Beta SP source tapes. 

OK TV, Inc. 

See Labs & Transfer Houses 

One Art (New York, NY) 
10% discount on Avid rentals. 

Open Studios (Vestal, NY) 
See Production Resources 

Pharoah Editorial, Inc. (New York, NY) 
10-15% discount on audio services and mixing, editing, 
sound design, custom music, and labor on ADR and 
foley. (Excludes stock, website downloads, and audio- 
plus-picture packages.) 

The Picture Room (New York, NY) 

30% discount on Avid Media Composer editing facility 

and editing services. 

Picture This Music (New York, NY) 
10-30% off digital audio postproductiori: music, voice- 
overs, sound design, SFX, audio mixing (ProTools work 
stations). 

The Post Office at Filmmaker's Collaborative 

See Production Resources 

Public Interest Video Network (Bethesda, MD) 
15% discount for post services, incl. Media 100 editing 
and graphics; 15% discount for writing/directing ser- 
vices; 10% discount on full-day Betacam SP camera and 
crew package. Additional discounts to nonprofits. 

PrimaLux Video 

See Production Resources 

Ren Media (Rahway, NJ) 

Discounts on music scoring for film/video. Also has 

accessible music library of independent composers. 

Sound Dimensions Editorial (New York, NY) 

15% discounts on transfers, effects, and sound studio 

services: foley, ADR, narration, mixing. 

Splash Studios (New York, NY) 
35% on hourly editing fees (does not apply to 
media). Services include: dialog and sound effects edit- 
ing, ADR and Foley editing and recording, music editing 
and transfers. 

Tiny Lights, Inc (New York, NY) 

Music and sound design studio offering 15% discount on 
all services. Digidesign protools, Sony/lynx video lock 
complete music & audio post packages — will work with 
your budget. 




Northeast Negative Matchers, inc. 



Your Avid Film Composer Matchback Specialists 



Negative cutting & Conforming 

y 35mm 
> 16mm 
>■ Super 16mm 



jh« in service 



413-736-2177 ^413-734-1211 • 800-370-CUTS 



25 Riverview Terrace 
Springfield, MA 01 108-1603 



www.nenm.com 
e-mail: nenm(5)nenm.com 




16:9 



all! in one is now bigger, better... 

offering 

& more services & same great rates 



DTV 

Specialist 



Service Center 

f° r Independent 
motion P' cture 

documentary 

television procjram 

commercial 

corporate 

co-production projects 
welcome 

Training courses for: 



Latest Version 

Media fOO 



Non-Linear Digital Editing Systems 
Broadcast Resolution 

support all formats, even PAL BetaCam 3 Edit Suites. From $30/hr 
feature film negative match back capabilities 



Studio space with Teleprompter 

for film, TV & photo Shoot 
casting, rehearsal and seminar From $35/hr. 



3CCD DV Camera 



Digital Camera Audio ^ ov uamera 

Ll S nt Packages for rent From JJ U/day 

Veteran DP & professional crew available 




Multi-lingual Voice 0ver 
g & Prompting 

Ch "" Se Arabic lta " 3 ° ^nese Sp3m5h 
r,,._,,„ English H "l dl Tagalog 
Russian * Korean and counting... 

DV Cloning, Timecode Burn-in 
Multi-Format Transfers & Dubs 



All In One Productions 

115 W. 29th St., 12th Fl. 

New York, NY 10001 

Phone: 212 868 0028 

Fax: 212 868 0069 

www.allinone-usa.com 



H ^ W H Y ? 



Massachusetts College of Art - Full-time Tenure Track Faculty Position - Video 

Seeking a highly motivated Video Artist for a full-time; tenure track position with excellent benefits starting Fall 2000. 

Applicants should possess: a strong portfolio, commitment to teaching, knowledge of video art history, 
understanding of all aspects of analog and digital video including video installation, digital cinema, compositing 
and studio production. Experience with desktop video, non-linear editing and web based applications is also 
required, MFA strongly preferred. 

Application Deadline: January 14, 2000. Send cover letter, CV and statement of teaching philosophy to: 
Video Search Committee. DO NOT SEND VIDEOS OR RECOMMENDATIONS UNTIL REQUESTED BY 
THE SEARCH COMMITTEE. All salaries commensurate with experience, excellent benefits package. 

All application materials should be sent to the appropriate committee at : Office of Personnel. Massachusetts 
College of Art, 621 Hungtington Avenue, Boston, MA 021 1 5-5882. Members of under-represented groups and 
those committed to working in a diverse cultural environment are encouraged to apply. 

MassArt is an accredited 4-year public art college offering BFA, MFA and MSAE. 
Massachusetts College of Art is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 



January February 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 65 



r-.,..,.i.u-u.i....-ifc 




NT RAG 



VIDEO I 




AVID EDIT SUITES 

DFFLINE/DN LINE/3DFX 

Grafix Suite/After Effects 
Audio Design/Mixing/Protools 
V.O. Booth /Read To Picture 



VOICE 



212.244,0744 



id4westZ9thst|nyiDOD1 FAX 212.244.0690 



BRAVO 



40 WEST 27TH STREET 

2ND FLOOR 

NEW YORK NY IOOOl 

212 679 9779 

FAX 212 532 O444 

www.bravofilm com 



Sound Stage Rentals 

34' x 28' x 14' 

600 amps 

Hard Cyc/Blue Screen 

$595/day 

On-line Editing 

DVCam, BetaSP, W, S-VHS 

ABC Roll 

DVE: Pinnacle Alladin with many Effects 

Video Toaster 4.1 

$85/hour with Editor 

Production Packages 

Sony DVCam: 

DSR-130 $325/day 

DSR-300 $225 /day 

Audio Services 

ADR, voice-over recording 

$55/hour 

In-house Sound Design &C 

Scoring also available. 

Tel: 212 679 9779 Fax: 212 532 0444 




DCTV 



Broadcast 



Professional Services 
at Populist Prices! 

Winner of 12 
National Emmy Awards 

• Digital Editing (Online/Offline AVID) 

• Digital Audio Sweetening & Mixing 

• Digital Cameras 

• Digital Studio 

• Digital Classes 

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Other Production Services 

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Amenities 

Cinema Village Theater (New York, NY) 

Discounted ticket prices: $6.50 for AIVF members with 

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10% discount at all restaurant branches, the Den of Cin 

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AIVF members receive discounted rates on rental cars 
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66 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 




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68 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



Legal Consulting 

Reduced rates on legal services with: 

Cinema Film Consulting (New York, NY) 

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard (New York, NY) 

Law Offices of Mark Litwak (Beverly Hills, CA) 

Law Offices of Miriam Stern (New York, NY) 

Stephen Mark Goldstein (New York, NY) 

Hollywood Script Research (Los Angeles, CA) 
HSR provides legal clearance reports to qualify your pro- 
duction for Errors & Omissions insurance coverage. One 
flat fee — no expenses; re-writes free with asterisked 
changes. HSR has never had one legal issue within their 
14 years experience. Lowest rates in the industry! AIVF 
members receive 10% off their first script submitted. 

Counseling Services 

Creative & Career Development (New York, NY) 
Licensed psychotherapist with film and TV experience 
assists indie filmmakers with creative and career devel- 
opment. 10% discount on individual sessions. 

The Voice of Hope (New York, NY) 
Communications consultant offers 10% discount on com- 
munications coaching to develop public speaking skills. 
Also offers 10% discount on Rubenfeld Synergy sessions, 
a body/mind approach to health and well-being. 

Financial Services 

Bell & Co. LLP (New York, NY) 
Free consultation on tax issues. 

Guardian Life Insurace (New York, NY) 
Offering term, whole, universal, and variable life insur- 
ance, disability insurance for individuals and corpora- 
tions; retirement planning. 

Sciarrino & Company, CPAs (New York, NY) 
Free phone consultation. 25% off all individual tax 
returns; 40% off all corporate tax returns; 25% off all 
quarterly tax returns. 

Working Capital Management Account (New York, NY) 

Shipping Services 

Airborne Express 

Up to 42% off Airborne Express. (As low as $9.50 per 
overnight letter delivery.) Other shipping services include 
free pick-up and convenient online customer service. 



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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 72 

"Just after the presidential election last 
November, Anne-Imelda Radice, acting chair 
of the National Endowment for the Arts 
(NEA), turned down grants recommended for 
funding from the Media Arts Fund (MAF) .... 
The three vetoed grants, 
totalling $17,500, were all for 
gay and lesbian film festivals." 
Catherine Saalfield, 1993 

"I'm standing in front of 
George [Stephanopolou 
and [James] Carville. Perot 
has just made some speech. 
They're doing these wonder- 
ful imitations of Perot. 
They're getting off on it, and 
they're giggling away 
and whispering little 
things into each other's 
ears.... So I'm filming 
them, and every once in 
a while I look at this wall 
[of press cameramen]. 
And the wall is looking 
straight ahead, like it 
isn't happening. Because 
nobody's come out of the 
door. That's what their 
job is — getting Clinton coming 
out of the door. Then it all gets 
put to tape, and goes out into 
the world, and everybody sees 
Clinton that day coming 
through a door." 

DA. Pennebaker, 1993 

"What do you need to go online? First, you 
need a computer with a modem and a tele- 
phone line. While most everyone is familiar 
with computers and phone connections, the 
modem is an exotic piece of equipment." 

Luke Matthew Hones, 1994 

"By replacing one-way broadcast and cable 
transmission with interactive dial-up access to 
programming stored on video servers [and] 
eliminating channel capacity constraints, many 
of the barriers to utilizing television as a distri- 
bution medium will fall." 

Clay Gordon, 1994 

"NEA chair Jane Alexander devastated the 
country's media arts community last October 
when she announced the agency was suspend- 
ing seven categories within its Media Arts, 
Music, and Presenting & Commissioning pro- 
grams. Individual media artists and small arts 
organizations were at the eye of the storm, 




since their primary link to the NEA is through 
various regrant programs . . . which have been 
eliminated indefinitely." 

Mary Esbjomson, 1995 

"It is encouraging that SAG has 
taken steps toward providing a flexi- 
ble arrangement for 'no-budget' film- 
makers. The Guild must protect its 
members, but must also take into 
account the changing realities of the 
marketplace. After all, the new inde- 
pendent film scene has 
resulted in the success and 
release of low-budget films 
often featuring the union's 
own membership." 

Robert L. Seigel, 1995 

"No serious player in this 
business would have 
financed a movie about this 
little girl." 

Todd Solondz, 1996 

"I think Slamdance is exciting, 
inevitable, necessary, and good. 
'DIY' is the whole idea behind indie 
filmmaking and it doesn't stop when 
the film is done." 

Steven Soderbergh, 1997 

"The key is not to panic when a) 
your DP who is supposed to shoot in 
three weeks, quits for a higher-pay- 
ing job; b) you catch a stomach 
virus and have to go to the hospital for dehy- 
dration two weeks before shooting; c) you 
break up with your boyfriend during the sound 
mix; or d) your apartment is completely 
cleaned out by thieves during editing." 

Adrienne Shelly, 1997 

"Ten years ago, the biggest thing about inde- 
pendent film was how difficult it was to see. 
Once of the objectives of launching 
[Sundance] was to build a platform for it, help 
legitimate it for theatrical release. We've creat- 
ed a monster, in a way." 

Geoffrey Gdmore, 1998 

"I swear as a director to refrain from personal 
taste! I am no longer an artist.... My supreme 
goal is to force the truth out of my characters 
and settings.... Thus I make my vow of chasti- 
ty-" 

Lars von Trier & Thomas Vinterberg, 1999 

— COMPILED BY EMILY BOBRONX' 



70 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



Statement of Ownership 
Management and Circulation 

(Required by 39 U.S.C. 3685) 

1. Tide of Publication: The Independent Fiim &Video MrmdJy. 

2. Publication number: 011-708. 

3. Filing date: 11-23-99. 

4. Issue frequency: Monthly (except Feb. & Sept.). 

5. Number of issues published annually: 10. 

6. Annual subscription price: $35/student; $55/individ- 

ual; $75/library; $ 1 00/nonprofit organization; 
$150/business & industry. 

7. Complete mailing address of known office of publica- 
tion: 304 Hudson St., 6th fl., New York, NY 10013- 
1015. Contact person: Elizabeth Peters. Telephone: 

(212) 807-1400 x. 224. 

8. Complete mailing address of headquarters or general 
business office of publisher: 304 Hudson St., 6th fl., 

New York, NY 10013-1015. 
9. Full names and complete mailing addresses of the 

publisher, editor, and managing editor: Publisher: 
Elizabeth Peters, AIVF/FIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6th fl., 
New York, NY 10013-1015. Editor: Patricia Thomson, 
F1VF, 304 Hudson St., 6th fl., New York, NY 10013- 
1015. Managing Editor: Paul Power, FIVF, 304 Hudson 
St., 6th fl., New York, NY 10013-1015. 

10. Owner: The Foundation for Independent Video and 
Film (FIVF), 304 Hudson St., 6th fl., New York, NY 

10013-1015. (FIVF is a nonprofit organization.) 

11. Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security 
holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of total 

amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: None. 

12. Tax status: The purpose, function, and nonprofit 
status of this organization and the exempt status for 

federal income tax purposes has not changed during the 
preceding 12 months. 

13. Publication tide: The Independent Film & Video Monthly. 
14- Issue date for circulation data below: Jan/Feb 2000. 

15. Extent and nature of circulation: a. Total No. 
Copies {net press run): Average no. copies each issue 
during preceding 12 months: 13,260; actual no. copies 
of single issue published nearest to filing date: 12,300. 
b. Paid and/or requested circulation: (1) Paid/requested 
outside-county mail subscriptions stated on Form 3541: 
Average no. copies each issue during preceding 12 
months: 4,721; no. copies of single issue published 
nearest to filing date: 5,099; (2) Paid in-county sub- 
scriptions: N/A; (3) Sales through dealers, carriers, 
street vendors, counter sales & other non-USPS paid 
distribution: Average no. copies each issue during pre- 
ceding 12 months: 5,304; no. copies of single issue pub- 
lished nearest to filing date: 5,958; (4) Other classes 
mailed through the USPS: N/A. c. Total paid and/or 
requested circulation: Average no. copies each issue 
during preceding 12 months: 11,404; no. copies of sin- 
gle issue published nearest to filing date: 11,057. d. Free 
distribution by mail: Average no. copies each issue dur- 
ing preceding 12 months: 140; no. copies of single issue 
published nearest to filing date: 100. e. Free distribu- 
tion outside the mail (carriers or other means): Average 
no. copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 905; 

no. copies of single issue published nearest to filing 
date: 300. f. Total free distribution: Average no. copies 
each issue during preceding 12 months: 1,045; no. 
copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 
400. g. Total distribution: Average no. copies each 
issue during preceding 12 months: 12,459; no. copies of 
single issue published nearest to filing date: 1 1,457. h. 
Copies not distributed: Average no. copies each issue 
during preceding 12 months: 801; no. copies of single 
issue published nearest to filing date: 843. i. Total: (sum 
of 15 g, h(l) and h(2) Average no. copies each issue 
during preceding 12 months: 13,260; no. copies of sin- 
gle issue published nearest to filing date: 12,300. j. 
Percent paid and/or requested circulation: Average no. 
copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 86.0%; 
actual no. copies of single issue published nearest to fil- 
ing date: 89.89%. 

16. Publication of Statement of Ownership: Publication 
required. Will be published in the Jan/Feb 2000 issue of 
this publication. 

17. I certify that all information furnished on this form 

is true and complete. 

(Signed) 

Paul Power, Managing Editor. 23rd November, 1999. 




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NEW DAY FILMS is the premiere distrib- 
ution cooperative for social issue media. 
Owned and run by its members, New 
Day Films has successfully distributed 
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five years. 

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To commemorate the 25th anniversity of AlVF, 
The Independent initiates a new column for the 
year 2000, "In Retrospect." Every month on this 
page, we'll revisit the people; the struggles, the tri- 
umphs, and the issues of concern to independents 
and watch the evolution of the field as reflected in 
the pages of this magazine. Below are excerpts from 
The Independent Gazette, a one issue magazine 
published in J 976, and from the January issues of 
The Independent Film & Video Monthly from 
its launch in 1 980 to the present. 

"Low-budget films are usually shot on location, 
and shooting at exterior locations is a real has- 
sle. At different times [when shooting Not a 
Pretty Picture] we found ourselves surrounded 
by hundreds of people we weren't prepared to 



■ ' 



"As the ultra-right takes command of the 
American political process, we must contem- 
plate four years of a Hollywood president. So 
we are quickly learning that. . . with the 
installation of Ronald Reagan and his 
legions, the very term 'alternative' 
becomes 'oppositional.' " 

DeeDee Halleck, 1981 

"If television brought us some version 
of Vietnam, it has, by and large, kept 
Latin America from us — Countries 
such as El Salvador do make it onto 
the screen, but usually only if their 
governments are dependent on US 
aid.... It has been left largely to independent 
filmmakers to notice, investigate, analyze, and 
document these conflicts." 

Susan Linfield, 



Indepe ndent 
GAZETTE 



^The creation of a place in our culture for media 

that is alternative without being marginal, imbued with 

values distinct from mass entertainment while still 

attracting an audience, is the paradoxical purpose of 

the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, 

now in its tenth year. )) Debm Goldman, J 985 



handle, in the middle of a knife fight, and on a 
major bus route. Shooting was halted by the 
arrival of a number of fire engines, and at 
another time, by a Mr. Softee truck that wouldn't 
go away." 

Martlw. Coolidge, 1976 

"Hopefully, this article will pinpoint the main 
components of the current video systems. The 
first group of equipment is the 
'portapaks'....One is a 1/2" reel-to-reel update 
of the original AV/AVC 3400 black-and-white 
portapak. They also make a 3/4" video cassette 
portapak. Both decks record and play in color." 
Alan Miller, 1976 

"I was turned down for starting funds [for Word 
is Out] by every conceivable private, religious, 
political, and government agency and founda- 
tion. In 1972, no one wanted to go near a 
'queer' film." 

Peter Adair, 1980 



1984 

"Last fall the 
CIA sent a pur- 
chase order to 
Icarus Films for 
one dozen films 
and videotapes 
. . . Most are 
documentaries 
critical of U.S. 
foreign policy — and CIA involvement in 
Central America.... Are these independent 
works becoming a source for intelligence gath- 
ering by the very agencies they criticize?" 

Renee Tajima, 1985 

"The cultural boycott [of South Africa] contin- 
ues despite independent producers who place 
the value of a film festival over the value of 
peoples' lives. It is precisely because culture 
plays such a critical role in the politics of 
apartheid that makes the cultural boycott and 
support for it so vital." 

Charlayne Haynes, 1986 

"Few women are as yet able to gain access to 
producing media. Cheap media may hold out 
the promise of greater access and immediacy of 
production for women — particularly for women 
without access to professional schools and 
high-tech equipment." 

Sherry Millner, 1987 



"There's trouble in paradise. When the con- 
tracts for [The Learning Channel's series] 
Declarations of Indeperidents arrived in the mail, 
a number of producers were miffed.... 'Nobody 
[at TLC] ever said they would also distribute — 
for free — Our programming to [PBS].' " 

Patricia Thomson, 1987 



"One of the shortcomings of 
commercial television's AIDS 
coverage lies in its insistence 
on speaking to one audience — 
the you addressed is presumed 
to be white, mid- 
dle-cass, hetero- 
sexual, and 
healthy, grouped in 
cozy, stable fami- 
lies. Those respon- 
sible for these tele- 
vision programs 
completely ignore 
the possibility that 
many of those 
watching may be 
struggling with AIDS, on a 
more immediate level." 
Timothy Landers, 1988 




"What I do is I tell histo- 
ry, but as a story. 
I don't want to 
tell it didactically 
or analytically, or 
just politically. I 
clearly have 

political sympa- 
thies and ideas 
and points of 
view, but I don't 
wish the engines 
of my films to be 
driven by them." 
Ken Bums, 1991 

"The media's performance has to be analyzed as 
an extension of government policy, because in 
[the Gulf War] much of the media was careful- 
ly and deliberately orchestrated as a policy mar- 
keting tool — often with its own full complicity. 
In effect, the media was deployed as an exten- 
sion of a well-planned government dominated 
information system.... And that system — as a 
matter of policy and practice — kept indepen- 
dents and critics at arm's length." 

Danny Schechter, 1992 

CONTINUED ON P. 70 



72 THE INDEPENDENT January/February 2000 



The Millennium Campaign Fund is a 
3-year initiative to develop a $150,000 

h 






c a 

reserve 
fund for 
the Foundation for Independent Video 

and Film by our 25th anniversary in the 
year 2000. Since its inauguration in 
1997, we have raised more than 
$105,000. 

Our heartfelt thanks to all those who 
have so generously donated to the 
Millennium Campaign Fund! 

Corporate/Government/ 
Foundation Contributors 

BET/Encore; District Cable vision; Home 
Box Office; New York State Council on 
the Arts; Ovation; Washington DC Film 
Society. 

Honorary Committee Members 

(gifts of $500 or more) 

AIVF DC Salon; Ralph Arlyck, Timed 
Exposures; Peter Buck; Hugo Cassirer, 
Felix Films; Martha Coolidge; Linda & 
Bob Curtis; Jacob Burns Foundation, Inc.; 
Loni Ding; Jacqueline Donnet; Karen 
Freedman & Roger Weisberg; Julie 
Goldman, WinStar Productions; David 
Haas; Henry Hampton*, Blackside, Inc.; 
Nik Ives; Bill Jersey, The Catticus 
Corporation; Richard Kaplan; Amie Knox; 
Deborah Kozee, C&S International 
Insurance Brokers; Leonard Merrill Kurz, 
Forest Creatures Entertainment; Richard 
Kylberg, Communicom; Tom LeGoff; 
Helaine & Sidney Lerner; Ruby Lerner; 
Peter Lewnes; Rick Linklater, Detour Film 
Foundation; Juan Mandelbaum; John Bard 
Manulis; Diane Markrow; Jim McKay, 
C-Hundred Film Corp.; Sheila Nevins; 
Elizabeth Peters; David & Sandy Picker; 
R.E.M./Athens LLC; Barbara Roberts; 
James Schamus, Good Machine; Robert L. 
Seigel; Liza Vann Smith; Miranda Smith; 
Michael Stipe; Ann Tennenbaum; Tower 
Records/ Videos/Books; Walterry Insurance 
Co.; Marc N. Weiss & Nancy Meyer; 
Martin Wills, TCI/District Cablevision; 
Robert E. Wise; Susan Wittenberg; 
Lawrence Zicklin, Jewish Communal 
Fund. (*deceased) 

We also wish to thank the individuals 
and organizations who have recently 
made or renewed generous donations of 
$100 or more to the Millennium Fund 
(10/15/99 to 12/1/99): 

David Bemis; Virginia Loring Brooks; 
Hugo Gassier; Peter Friedman; Kathy 
High; Amie Knox; Allen Serkin. 



The Foundation for Independent Video and Film (FIVF), the educational affiliate 
of the Association for Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), supports a variety 

of programs and services for the independent 
media community, including publication of The 



EE52 



'X'XIAXVrZKSS 



Independent and a series of resource publications, seminars and workshops, and informa- 
tion services. None of this work would be possible without the generous support of the 
AIVF membership and the following organizations: 



Academy Foundation 

The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation 

Forest Creatures Entertainment, Inc. 

Home Box Office 

Heathcote Art Foundation 

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation 



Albert A. List Foundation, Inc. 

John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation 

National Endowment for the Arts 

New York State Council on the Arts 

The Rockefeller Foundation 
The Andy Warhol Foundation for the 

Visual Arts, Inc. %ft# 



NYSCA 



We also wish to thank the following individuals and organizational members: 

Business/Industry Members: CA: Action/Cut Seminars; Dinque Entertainment, Inc; Focal Point Systems, 
Inc.; Vineyard Ventures; Labyrinth Productions; Leonard Merrill Kurz Co.; Marshall/Stewart Productions, Inc.; 
RJB Productions; CO: BET Movies/Starz!3; Intrepid Film & Video Inc.; FL: Green Solutions; Thunder Head 
Productions; GA: Mark Morton; IL: Optimus; MA: CS Associates; MD: Imagination Machines; MI: 
Woodcraft Video Prod. Inc.; NC: Richard Ward; NJ: ABCD Productions LLC; Black Maria Film Festival; NY: 
All In One Promotions, Inc.; Arc International Entertainment Corp.; Asset Pictures; Bagel Fish Productions, 
Bee Harris Productions; Bluestocking Films, Inc.; Bravo Film And Video; The Bureau for At-Risk Youth; 
Catherine Carey; Elizabeth Carmody; Choices, Inc.; Cine CMod Inc.; Citystuff.com; Aleks Decarvalho; 
Dependable Delivery, Inc.; Dekart Video; Duart; DV8 Video Inc.; Dynamism; Ericson Media Inc; The 
Filmworkers Club; Films for Educators; Fireballs Films, Ltd.; G Productions; Golden Cinema Enterprises, Inc.; 
Harmonic Ranch; Historic Film Archive; Island Media International; Jr. Video; Julia John Music; Kitchen 
Cinema; Kitchen Sync Group, Inc.; LD Media Corp; Mad Mad Judy; Middlemarch Films; Motion Picture 
Productions; NYT Television; Parallax Pictures, Inc.; Paul Dinatale Post, Inc.; Pitch Productions, Inc.; Prime 
Technologies; Remez Corp; Sea Horse Films; The Shooting Gallery; Streamedia Communications, Inc; Stuart 
Math Films Inc.; Toolbox Animation; Tribune Pictures; Undergroundfilm.Com; WinStar Productions; Wolfen 
Productions; Wonder Entertainment; RI: AIDS FILMS— RI; TX: Graham Dorian, Inc.; PBLK Com, Inc.; 
Texas World Television; UT: Rapid Video, LLC; WA: Amazon.com; Junk Empire Motion Pictures 

Nonprofit Members: AZ: University of Arizona; Women's Studies/Northern Arizona University; CA: 
Filmmakers Alliance; IFP/West; Film Arts Foundation; Film Studies/UC Berkeley; ITVS; Jewish Film Festival; 
KOCT; UC/Media Resource Center; NAATA; NAMAC; Nat'l Educational Media Network; USC School of 
Cinema TV; University of California; CO: Center for the Arts; Denver Center for the Performing Arts; CT: 
Film Fest New Haven; GA: Image Film Video Center; HI: Aha Punana Leo; University of Hawaii/Manoa; IL: 
Chicago Underground Film Festival; Columbia College; Community Television Network; Facets; MacArthur 
Foundation; Video Data Bank; Women In The Director's Chair; KY: Appalshop; MA: CCTV; Long Bow 
Group Inc; LTC Communications; MD: Laurel Cable Network; MI: Ann Arbor Film Festival; MN: Bush 
Artist Fellowships; IFP/North; Intermedia Arts; Walker Arts Center; MO: Webster University; MS: 2nd 
Annual Magnolia Indie Festival; NC: Cucalorus Film Foundation; Doubletake Documentary Film Fest; NE: 
Nebraska Independent Film Project, Inc.; NY: AARP New York State; Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual 
Arts, Inc.; Brooklyn Film Institute; Center for New American Media; Cinema Arts Centre; Communications 
Society; Cornell Cinema; Creative Capital Foundation; Crowing Rooster Arts; Dyke TV Productions; 
Educational Video Center; Film Forum; Film Society of Lincoln Center; Globalvision, Inc.; Irish American Film 
Foundation; John Jay High School; Learning Matters; Magnetic Arts, Inc.; Manhattan Neighborhood Network; 
MOMA-Film; Museum of the American Indian; National Video Resources; New York Women In Film and 
Television; Open Society Institute/Soros Documentary Fund; Paul Robeson Fund/Funding Exchange; The Ross 
School Library; The Roth School Library; The Standby Program; Stony Brook Film Festival; Squeaky Wheel; 
SUNY/Buffalo Dept. Media Studies; SUNY College/Fredona; Third World Newsreel; Upstate Films. Ltd.; 
WNET/13; Women Make Movies; OH: Athens Center For Film & Video; City of Cleveland; Media Bridges 
Cincinnati; Ohio University-Film; Wexner Centet; OR: Communication Arts, MHCC; Northwest Film Center; 
PA: Carnegie Museum of Art; PA/Council On The Arts; Scribe Video Center; Univ. of the Arts; Temple 
Univ./Dept. of Media; RI: Flickers Arts Collaborative; RI School of Design/Film, Animation Dept; SC: South 
Carolina Arts Commission; TN: Nashville Independent Film best; TX: Austin Film Society; Austin Film 
Festival; Detour Film Foundation; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Southwest Alternate Media Project; [ex is 
Film Commmission; U. of Texas Dept. Radio-TV-Film; Worldfest Houston; WA: v Ml Media Arts. Center; 
Seattle Central Community College; WI: Madison Film Forum; India: foundation tor Uni\ ers.il Responsibility; 
Mexico: Centra De Capacitacion Cinematografica 



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cio), Robert Richter (treasurer), James Schamus*, Valerie Soe (secretary). 
* FIVF Board of Directors only 



2 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 




26 Following the Breadcrumb Trail through the PBS Jungle 

Public TV can be a Kafkaesque maze of acronyms and alliances. Here's a field guide to the system, 
complete with a few back doors. 

by Patric Hedlund 

35 The Future of the Documentary One-Off 

Are documentary one-offs an endangered species? One independent producer tests the waters on 
an excursion to MIPCOM. 

by Trish Dolman 





35 



Upfront 



5 News 

Two new advocacy groups aim for greater accountability from PBS; 
LA-based film foundation starts up; postproduction company proposes 
innovative new equity participation model. 

by Pat Aufderheide; Karen Voss; Emily Bobrow 



ELEV. 
980 




11 Opinion 

The medium is not the message: DV is merely another step in the 
evolution of small-format video. 

by Ellen Spiro 

12 Wired Blue Yonder 

In the rush to embrace all things web-based, let's not forget the digital 
divide: the alarmingly low rates of computer ownership and Internet 
access for minority groups, lower income earners, and rural Americans. 

by Gary O. Larson 




14 Festival Circuit 

Art &. anthropology at the Margaret Mead festival; preservation now 
in MIX's mix; the Hamptons gets in gear; Havana's cinema & cigars. 

by Liz Mermin; Mark J. Huisman; Sabina Dana 
Plasse; Glaus Mueller 



Cover design: Daniel Christmas 



Departments 

23 Legal Briefs 

Is your documentary subject alive and well? 
Then getting a life story agreement is the 
first order of business. 

by Robert L. Seigel 



FAQ & Info 

38 Distributor FAQ 

California Newsreel, one of the nation's 
oldest nonprofit distributors, refocuses on 
African American work. 

BY LlSSA GIBBS 

40 Funder FAQ 

Paul Robeson Fund, part of the Funding 
Exchange, appreciates the significance of 
redistributing power as well as money. 

by Michelle Coe 

43 Festivals 
47 Notices 
53 Classifieds 



@AIVF 



58 Events 
61 Salons 
64 In Retrospect 





M.ir-Ii _\\Y THE INDEPENDENT 3 




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PATROLLING THE AIRWAVES 

Two new activist groups lobby for 
public accountability from broadcasters. 



By Pat Aufderheide 

TWO ORGANIZING PROJECTS, CITIZENS FOR 
Independent Public Broadcasting (CIPB) and 
People for Better TV (PBTV), both backed 
with Open Society Institute (OSI) funds and 
based in Washington D.C., are pushing broad- 
casters for more diverse programming and pub- 
lic accountability. 

CIPB [www.cipbonline.org], launched in 
November, targets public broadcasting and 
calls for a massive overhaul of its sprawling 
structure. "The time has come to return public 
broadcasting to its mission to serve as a town 
hall of the air and a voice for groups in the 
community that may otherwise be unheard," 
says CIPB director Jerry Starr, a professor and 
activist. 

The organization calls for the top-to-bottom 
restructuring of public broadcasting, centered 
on creation of a national trust with a non-par- 
tisan board. Half the trust's funds would go for 
national radio and television production and 
distribution; local stations would get the other 
half. Coffers would be filled by taxing profits of 
corporate media. A special fund for experimen- 
tal and independent production is also envi- 
sioned by the group, though not yet elaborated 
on. The Carnegie -funded commission that first 
designed public broadcasting recommended a 
national trust, but lawmakers instead made 
public television dependent on Congressional 
appropriations and corporate and individual 
donations. Organizers say this wreck-and- 
rebuild agenda will be fueled by an initial grant 
from OSI and the Schumann Foundation of 
$175,000 to date and by grassroots activism, 
through local chapters of CIPB and of its coali- 
tion partners. 

Can public broadcasting, with its decentral- 
ized structure and welter of invested bureau- 
cracies, be so massively reorganized? Trust pro- 
posals have recently been floated in Congress, 
by Republicans eager to get public television 
out of the annual budget, but G.O.R infighting 
has sunk them. "Unless the Democrats take 
over the House, chances are low," says one 
Congressional insider. However, Democrats in 
control of the House might want to take up the 




trust proposal option, if only to force 
Republicans to take a public stand 
against a popular service. 

Certainly viewers care about public 
television. "There are a goodly num- 
ber of $25 donors who are upset at commer- 
cialization," says public interest media lawyer 
Andrew Jay Schwartzman. Protests and com- 
plaints from upset viewers are a constant of 
PBS programmers. A recent attack on PBS' 
programming judgment, coordinated by 
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), 
mobilized 33 prominent individuals and groups, 
including the National Organization for 
Women, into the ad-hoc Feminist Coalition of 
Public Broadcasting. The coalition denounced 
PBS for several right-of-center, conservative - 
funded programs that allege feminism has been 
bad for American society, produced by the six- 
hours-a-year series National Desk. The ardent- 
ly ideological series entered the mix of core 
PBS public affairs programming in the wake of 
the 1994 anti-public television push of 
Republicans. 

The Feminist Coalition met with PBS 
staffers to demand that PBS ascribe to a single 
set of journalistic programming guidelines and 
boost its airtime for feminist subject matter, 
producers, and on-air talent. PBS spokesman 



Tom Epstein says that the organization was 
"following up on their comments" but had 
"come to no conclusions yet" and that the ser- 
vice "does not take orders from ideological 
interest groups." 

"We need grassroots action to make stations 
more responsive to what their whole communi- 
ty wants, not just its wealthiest and most con- 
servative elements," says Robert Richter, inde- 
pendent producer and AIVF treasurer. Father 
Roy: In the School of the Assassins, Richter's doc- 
umentary on the recently-closed School of the 
Americas, benefited from grassroots pressure, 
eventually showing on 140 public television 
stations. 

People for Better TV, which since April has 
been coordinating about a million dollars of 
OSI money, focuses on the obligations of com- 
mercial broadcasters. Since 1996, all broadcast- 
ers have had free access to new spectra to 
transmit digitally, without clear public interest 
obligations. PBTV [www.bettertv.org] housed 
in the Washington, D.C. offices of the Civil 



"The time has come to return public 
broadcasting to its mission to serve 
as a town hall of the air and a voice 
for groups in the community." 

CIPB director Jerry Starr 



Rights Forum, includes major labor, education- 
al, religious, and ethnic organizations. Local 
chapters of its constituent organizations in 
eight cities petitioned the Federal 
Communications Commission to set guidelines 
for the use of digital spectrum, and in 
December the FCC opened an inquiry. Under 
Commission Chair Bill Kennard, however, the 
FCC has shown itself timid to confront regula- 
tion-averse Republicans. PBTV national coor- 
dinator Mark Lloyd says public broadcasters 
and indies could benefit: "It commercial broad- 
casters have to provide funds to meet their 
public interest obligation, maybe they ought to 
give them to public broadcasters." 

"Public TV stations have always complained 
that they didn't have enough money tor pro- 
duction, and they didn't have enough spe< 
trum," says Jack Willis, the OSI consultant who 
funded both CIPB and PBTV Willi- created 
such public attairs programming as The 5Isi 
State in public rV's early days and later headed 
Minneapolis station KTCA. "They won't have 



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either of those arguments as an excuse not to 
do local programming and not work with inde- 
pendents, if these initiatives work." 

Veterans of earlier battles see both potential 
and problems. "We could do anything we want- 
ed to, if we had a mass movement to do it — but 
how do we do that?" asks Lawrence Daressa of 
California Newsreel, one of the activists who 
worked to create ITVS. "We haven't been able 
to mobilize a broad public around media reform 
up until now." Earlier efforts around media 
reform, for instance in the late 1920s and in the 
1960s and 1970s, were unable to create broad 
grassroots support. 

"Surely we need something that's going to 
give a wider scope to media advocacy," says 



George Stoney, the godfather of cable public 
access, "but the history is not encouraging." 
Media reform efforts with more targeted strate- 
gies have, however, won affirmative action 
gains, reserved spectrum and channel space, 
airtime for educational kids' shows, production 
funds for independents, and even ITVS and the 
minority consortia. 

"Some kind of public accountability, even if 
it's weak, means the public can get its foot in 
the door," says Gordon Quinn of Kartemquin 
Films, who is working with PBTV "If there's no 
accountability, they won't ever talk to you." 

Pat Aufderheide is a professor in the School 

of Communication at American University in 

Washington, D.C. 



Hollywood Film Festival 
Creates Foundation Offshoot 



Carlos de Abreu, founder and 
president of the newly formed 
Hollywood Film Foundation 



The Hollywood Film 
Foundation, a new nonprofit 
offshoot of the Hollywood 
Film Festival and its web 
counterpart, the Hollywood 
Network, recently announced 
plans to foster independent 
filmmaking in California with 
a media arts center in the 
Hollywood environs and 
increased production grants. 
The plans are impressive, 
albeit nascent. 

If it gestates correctly, the 
foundation could nurture 
some robust independent pro- 
jects (with significant provi- 
sos) . You can readily access the intended agen- 
da to build nothing short of an independent 
and digital filmmaking community on the foun- 
dation's website [www.hff.org]. Here you 
encounter a mandate that's partly about bring- 
ing together creators and professionals and 
partly about keeping production in California. 
This reads like a thinly-veiled response to the 
prevailing anxiety here out West that we're los- 
ing our location shooting. Founder and presi- 
dent of the foundation, Carlos de Abreu, 
frankly describes the group as a professional 
conclave united in their desire to mitigate the 
effects of globalization on filmmaking, especial- 
ly with respects to below-the-line professionals. 
The foundation aims, in de Abreu's words, "to 
keep the cradle of filmmaking in Southern 
California." 




An emphatic component of 
the (fairly impressive) array 
of grants, consequently, is 
that 75% of the shooting 
must take place in the state 
of California and that the 
budget be under $5 million. 
Nonprofit manifestos usu- 
ally use phrases like "the 
independent aesthetic" or 
"the multicultural perspec- 
tive," but here geographic 
and labor issues are priori- 
tized over aesthetics. In 
return for California-based 
projects, the foundation 
promises to link filmmakers 
with private entities, ranging from companies 
that offer specialized services to the big studios, 
as well as government agencies. 

The ethos, then, might be less about inde- 
pendent aesthetics than it is about creating 
new kinds of funding and distribution relation- 
ships between those who have money and 
those who need money. The proposed media 
arts center, in fact, will initially operate as a 
type of referral center, where the production 
and postproduction needs of projects chosen by 
the foundation will, for example, get time, 
products, and equipment on the Paramount 
lot. (Paramount Studios Group president Earl 
Lestz is a member of the foundation's board, as 
are producer Moctesuma Esparza (Selena, Intro- 
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(On Golden Pond), actress/TV hostess Janice 
Pennington (The Price is Right) , and author/pro- 
ducer Christopher Vogler (The Writer's 
Journey) .) 

What this will mean, exactly, in terms of aes- 
thetic criteria for getting selected is hard to pin- 
point. De Abreu emphasized overall "creative 
value" as a guideline, mentioned strong story- 
telling specifically, but added that narrative 
shouldn't constitute a boundary, that experi- 
mental work recognized by the board of direc- 
tors to embody creative value (especially in the 
digital domain) would be just fine. And with 
the central aim to keep the economic base of 
filmmaking in California, the foundation seems 
to be going for some middle ground between 
the independent scene and the commercial 
sphere. Perhaps the best way to anticipate grant 
selection tendencies would be to look at the 
bios of the foundation's board of directors listed 
online and gamble accordingly. 

Any first- or second- time feature director or 
producer can apply for the foundation's pro- 
duction grants in the following categories: 
experimental ($50,000), digital ($50,000), fin- 
ishing/postproduction (up to $200,000) and 
partial budget (up to 50% of budget). The 
overall budget of the proposed project may not 
exceed five million and the application is avail- 
able online with no publicized fixed deadline, 
but an internal deadline of March 31 for the 
first round of grant disbursements. In addition 
to features, projects can be short format, digital 
or documentary, but absolutely under no cir- 
cumstances can they be pornography. The 
"funds" may consist of cash, goods, services and/or 
promotional support. 

The proposed media arts center is still in 
early development, but it aims to include state- 
of-the-art digital equipment, multimedia labs, 
free instruction, professional mentoring, 
screening rooms, online job resource centers 
and educational and community programs. As 
of now, the foundation's online community is 
running slightly ahead of the physical one 
(including chat groups, listserves and "discov- 
ery of the month" video streaming) . For inter- 
ested parties, the best course of action would be 
to assemble a complete project proposal (appli- 
cation form available online) . If you're willing 
to make a project that's 75% Californian, then 
the Hollywood Film Foundation is worth 
watching. 

Karen Voss 

Karen Voss is a freelance writer, pan-time multimedia 

iiistructor, and independent media enthusiast 

working out of Los Angeles. 



8 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



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'.r 



J 



Stuart Whitman strikes a 
western pose in Cimarron 
Strip, one of Collaborative 
Pictures' current equity 
participation projects. 



Collaborative Pix Offers New 
Model for Equity Financing 

For independent filmmakers who exhaust 
their shoestring budgets before entering post- 
production, Collaborative Pictures, a budding 
Hollywood-based completion company, has 
established a new way to help finance a film: 
offering free postproduc- 
tion and distribution ser- 
vices in exchange for a per- 
centage of the film's equity. 
Aiming to serve five or six 
projects in the coming year, 
this small, six-employee 
company boasts 30 years of 
postproduction experience 
collectively 
and the 

resources for 
everything 
from offline 
and online 
editing (Avid 
and Discrete Logic, 
respectively) to helping 
your film on its first steps 
towards distribution. 

Collaborative Pictures was established last 
year as an "all-in-one-shop" extension of TEDS 
(Telecine Edit Duplication Service), a relative- 
ly new provider of postproduction technology 
and services. TEDS was created a little over a 
year ago when company president Justin 
Whitman teamed up with production supervi- 
sors Vincent Lyons and Jason Weichelt, respec- 
tively the former president and the head tech- 
nician of production company Dubs, and co- 
owners (with Cynthia Weichelt) of 
Collaborative Pictures. Together they recog- 
nized a demand for a new kind of postproduc- 
tion service, one that essentially meets the 
needs of filmmakers by investing in them. 
Collaborative Pictures claims to provide all of 
the postproduction equipment, technical 
expertise, and industry contacts necessary for 
completing and distributing a film. 

"We started this when a friend of ours [Israel 
Brenner] fell into this situation with his film, 
The Freshest Kids" Whitman explains. "It was 
our first project, though it was more of an 
experiment because we didn't expect a lot of 
return. After we finished, the overwhelming 
praise for the service was great. That's how we 
started it all. 

"So often we see independent moviemakers 
spend all of their money during production, 
and then end up needing more financing once 




they reach the postproduction stage," 
Whitman observes. "So, basically, that's what 
we do. We are offering financing but in a differ- 
ent way — we're offering our services. We are 
using all of our contacts and resources to help 
in the postproduction of a film." 

Some of these contacts are in the distribu- 
tion world, including individuals at Artisan and 
Sony — the product of 
past remastering deals 
that Weichelt and Lyons 
presided over at Dubs. 
"With our postproduc- 
tion background, we 
have established rela- 
tionships with distribu- 
tors and we know what 
they are looking for," 
says Whitman. "We 
have industry contacts 
with distributors that we 
5 have close personal 
Sn relationships with," 
!*fc adds Lyons, "but no 

UK 

,-- ; . exclusive deals with dis- 
^S^'uf^^mX * tr ib ut i on entities." 

The percentage of 
equity that Collaborative Pictures earmarks for 
itself varies according to the amount of work 
needed to complete a film. "It can run any- 
where from 10-50%, depending on the extent 
of the investment," Whitman says. "But it's all 
disclosed up front. We draw up a contract 
beforehand so we know exactly where everyone 
stands and what is expected on both ends." 

For those applying for completion aid, 
Whitman explains that applicants must have 
entirely finished production, and that selec- 
tions are based on past efforts and the appeal of 
the film in question. As for genre, Whitman 
lists the three current equity participation pro- 
jects on the company's books, noting that 
"We've dealt with everything from documen- 
taries to television to feature films. Currently, 
we are working on a documentary on hip hop 
for Paul Allen called The Freshest Kids, a pilot 
for a variety show on MTV called The Music 
Doctors, and the international and domestic 
redistribution of an old western TV series 
Cimarron Strip, starring the likes of Robert 
Duvall, Telly Savalas, and Tom Skerritt." 

Any plans by the company to move more 
actively into distribution or production are, 
however, discounted by Lyons. "The way we've 
set it up now is the way I see it continuing," he 
says. "We're happy in the niche we're in." 

Emily Borrow 

Emily Bobrow is a freelance writer based in New York. 



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'CIRRUS LOGIC 



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The Medium is the Missed Age 



Boyle's brilliant Subject to Change: Guerrilla 
Television Revisited, which tells the story of a 
band of video radicals who tried to create a 
more inclusive television landscape by working 



by Ellen Spiro 

I'm suffering from Digital Video overload. 
DV is not a revolution, it's a consumer frenzy. 
DV is not cinema, it's not film. It's video! It is 
yet another step in the evolution of small-for- 
mat, low-budget video technology that began 
with Sony's 1/2" reel-to-reel portapak in the 
mid-sixties. 

The fact that the feature filmmaking com- 
munity is drooling over DV illuminates the 
great divide that still exists between the worlds 
of film and video. As any videomaker knows, 
the wonders of DV that filmmakers tout — 
small size, low cost, portability, spontaneity — 
have been around for years. The only difference 
is between analog and digital and, in practical 
terms, the differences are minor. With Hi-8 you 
had dropouts — literally, oxide particles that 
would fall off the tape from friction. With DV 
you have digital artifacts — missing or distorted 
pixels. In editing with DV you have Firewire — 
almost no loss in image quality. With Hi-8 you 
have S-video — a semi- component signal that 
transfers an image almost indistinguishable 
from one digitized through Firewire. 

The pretense that digital video or digital 
projection is a new thing ignores the past. DV is 
delicious in the quality/price arena, but if we 
are going to worship a video format, let's talk 
about the real hero: regular 8mm video! The 
small-format pioneers are folks like George 
Kuchar and the activist media collectives of the 
'70s, '80s, and '90s who dared traverse the 
seemingly vast divide between consumer and 
broadcast technology to make inventive genre - 
bending work. Some of the best stuff was made 
on 8mm video, Hi-8 video, and even S-VHS 
video. A decade-plus before digital became the 
G-string of the indie scene, Kuchar and others 
filled up shelves with highly innovative 8mm 
video works edited in-camera that would cause 
the Blair Witch to scream in envy. 

While film fests worshipped celluloid, 
Kuchar's incredible body of work remained on 
the fringe of the fringe — as did other 8mm, Hi- 
8, and pixelvision innovators like Cecelia 
Dougherty, Kathy High, Skip Blumberg, Igor 
Vamos, and countless prolific activist video col- 
lectives like DIVA TV and Buffalo's 8mm 
News Collective. These artists works were not 
shown at Sundance because Sundance did not 




project video in the 20th century. I heard 
Sundance awoke this year from its slumber and 
projected video with the sexy title "digital pro- 
jection." Face it: it's video projection. State-of- 
the-art video projection has existed for almost 
two decades. Some festivals created video side- 
bars in the '80s and '90s that were ghettoized in 
bad locations, weird time slots, or East Berlin. 

Other venues took a more forward -thinking 
route. One that will surely be imitated is the 
Video Data Bank, the folks that brought you 
the Video Drive-In in 1986. More interactive 
than webcasting which beams video into our 
isolated chambers, the Video Drive-In brought 
the public together by the thousands to view 
radical, groundbreaking, and experimental 
works on an outdoor movie -sized screen in 
Chicago's Grant Park, New York's Central 
Park, and all over Europe. The offspring of Kate 
Horsfield and Lyn Blumenthal's dynamic 
vision, the Video Drive-In demonstrated the 
radical potential of video and the scale of its 
reach. There were no box office figures because 
it was free. 

The danger of the Digi video craze is that 
the radical innovators will get lost in the frenzy 
to declare false prophets. Once the false 
prophet gets the podium and the frenzied fol- 
lowers are listening, the prophet has nothing to 
say. 

It is more important than ever to look at 
recent video history. A good start is Deirdre 



"A decade-plus before 

digital became the 

G-string of the indie scene, 

Kuchar and others filled 

up shelves with highly 

innovative 8mm video 

works edited in-camera 

that would cause the Blair 

Witch to scream in envy." 



cheaply, inventively, and with strong content in 
the '70s. 

So what's so revolutionary about DV? Is it 
the 550 lines of resolution of the VX1000? The 
interchangeable lens of the XL1? The teeny - 
weenieness of the PCI? Or is it that people 
making narratives have finally discovered what 
people making activist docs and video art have 
known since the days of TVTV, Raindance, 
Videofreex, and the portapak: that eye-opening 
content outweighs resolution, that compelling 
images can be composed with good lighting and 
a strong imagination, and that broadcast quali- 
ty is really anything that gets broadcast? 

I would like to see this superficially hyped 
DV obsession turn towards the meat of the 
matter and look at all acquisition tools as tools 
and not as saviors liberating us from hard labor 
and critical thought. It's really about telling sto- 
ries that are in danger of being swept under the 
carpets of conventionality. It's not about regur- 
gitating hackneyed Hollywood ideas on the 
cheap. 

I'm afraid the Blair Witch's broomstick is th- 
ing backwards into the future. Her dust is 
clouding our vision. 

Ellen Spiro [SpYfovich@yahoo.com) has been shooting 

small-jonuM video since 1986. DiAn.i's H.ur l : sv 

(8mm, 1990), Greetings from Oui Here (Hi S, I993J 

and Roam Sweei Home (MmiDV I996J were all 

broadcast on PBS and never transferred to film. 



March 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 11 



The Widening Digital Divide 

A Fork in the Info Highway 



| 60 

& 50 

=> 40 

-g 30 



"The problem of the twentieth century is 
the problem of the color-line," wrote W.E.B. 
DuBois in The Souls ofBfock Folk, offering what 
turned out to be a remarkably accurate proph- 
esy just three years into the 
new century. While it's too 
soon to make a similar fore- 
cast for the twenty-first cen- 
tury, the early returns sug- 
gest that another intangible 
barrier — the so-called "digi- 
tal divide" — will prove 
equally nettlesome. And, 
like the color line before it, 
which was ultimately woven 
into an intricate cross- 
hatching that drew on race, 
ethnicity, nationality, reli- 
gion, and sexual preference 
to make its invidious dis- 
tinctions, so too will the 
digital divide evolve into 
much more than a simple 
equation of the computa- 
tional haves and have-nots. 
But for now, that's not a 
bad place to start. Certainly 
that basic dichotomy — the 
distinction between those 
who are plugged into com- 
puters and the Internet and 
those who remain outside 
the digital loop — is sufficient to suggest the 
challenges that lie ahead. Viewed from one 
perspective, of course, the news is encourag- 
ing: access to computers and the Internet con- 
tinues to grow at a remarkable pace, with the 
level of PC ownership now approaching half of 
all households, and nearly a third of all homes 
connected to the Internet. Upon closer inspec- 
tion, however, such figures are skewed along 
economic, racial, and even geographic lines: 

• Wealthier households (those with incomes of 
$75,000 and above) are more than nine times 
more likely to own PCs than low-income 
households (below $15,000) and more than 20 
times more likely to have access to the 
Internet; 



by Gary O. Larson 

• Black and Hispanic households are roughly 
one -third as likely to have home on-line access 
as households of Asian/Pacific Islander descent, 
and about two-fifths as likely as white house- 
holds; 



"In most communities, 
the fiber-optic rings circle 

the business district. If 

you're in a poor suburban 

neighborhood or the inner 

city, you're at risk." 

— FCC chair William Kennard 



• Americans living in 
rural areas, regardless of 
income level, lag behind 
their urban counterparts 
in Internet access; even 
at the lowest income lev- 
els, those in urban areas 
are twice as likely to 



SI 



Under $15,000 15B0034.9Q9 35.000-74,999 



Q White no n Hispanic ■ Black no n Hispanic D Other no n Hispanic □ H e pan 





Undei $15,000 


15.000-34,999 


| 
35.000-74.999 


75,000+ 




I White ncm Hispanic 


17.5 


3: .5 


60.4 


SO.O 


Black non Hispanic 


6 6 


19.4 


43.7 


78 



Percent of U.S. households with a computer by income and race as of 1998, according to the NTIA 



have Internet access as those of the same eco- 
nomic class in rural areas. 

These statistical snapshots are a sobering 
reminder that the Information Superhighway 
passes right by millions of Americans, with no 
on-ramp in sight. The Department of 
Commerce's National Telecommunications 
and Information Administration has been col- 
lecting such data for the past five years, and its 
annual series of reports, Falling through the Net: 
Defining the Digital Divide, chronicles the 
progress we've made in wiring the nation. Or 
haven't made, in some cases, since among the 
more discouraging of the NTIA's findings are 
those that indicate that the gap separating the 



haves from the have-nots may actually be 
widening. The difference in on-line access 
between white and either black or Hispanic 
households, for example, was six percent larger 
in 1998 than in 1994- In just a single year, 
between 1997 and 1998 (the last year for which 
such data are available), the digital divide as 
related to the highest and lowest education and 
income levels grew 25 and 29 percent, respec- 
tively. 

If these are the most visible manifestations of 
the digital divide — the absence of PCs and 
Internet access in millions of poor, minority, 
and rural households — there are also other, 
much less apparent discrepancies that may in 
the long run prove even more socially and eco- 
nomically debilitating. For there is growing evi- 
dence that the broadband revolution — the 
deployment of high-speed connections that will 
become increasingly vital to American business 
and increasingly common in American 
homes — will not reach some communities for 
years. In this instance, it is access to high- 
capacity fiber-optic lines that is 
the key, and in this regard the dig- 
ital divide will initially separate big 
business from small. At present, 
only about five percent of all 
buildings in the country are con- 
nected to high-speed fiber rings, 
but while 90 percent of business 
with more than 500 employees 
possess fast Internet connections, 
less than 10 percent of the 21 mil- 
lion smaller companies enjoy such 
access. 

Rural America is at the greatest 
risk of being left behind in the dig- 
ital revolution, since some 86 per- 
cent of Internet delivery capacity 
in the U.S. is concentrated in the 
20 largest cities. And even within 
these fortunate locales, a similar, highly skewed 
pattern of network deployment has emerged. 
"The private sector builds where the high vol- 
ume and the money is," explains William E. 
Kennard, chairman of the Federal Commun- 
ications Commission (FCC) . "In most commu- 
nities, the fiber-optic rings circle the business 
district. If you're in a poor suburban neighbor- 
hood or the inner city, you're at risk." 

In fact, maybe we're all at risk. For the resi- 
dential broadband revolution that we're just 
beginning to hear about will soon usher in an 
era of digital divisiveness that will affect almost 
all Internet users. Right now, the pickings are 
slim for residential consumers: About a million 
cable subscribers have signed up for Excite@ 



12 THE. INDEPENDENT March 2000 



Home's or RoadRunner's cable Internet ser- 
vice, and nearly as many have opted for the dig- 
ital subscriber line (DSL) services offered by 
the Baby Bells and a handful of competitors. In 
addition to providing much higher connection 
speeds (up to 100 times standard dial-up rates), 
the new broadband networks will also feature a 
range of delivery options. And that's where the 
new digital divide will come into play, even for 
those who are connected. 

In its more benign forms, "differential ser- 
vice" (or "DiffServ," as the engineers would 
have it) will help alleviate some of the traffic 
congestion that already affects the Net. By dis- 
tinguishing among time-critical data (e.g., 
streaming audio or telephony) and less mission- 
critical packets (e.g., e-mail or web pages), and 
by establishing more intelligent means of pro- 
cessing such transport requests, tomorrow's 
Internet will be a much more efficient and civ- 
ilized delivery system than today's data free-for- 
all. It will also be a more expensive system, 
since the new packet identification and routing 
schemes will make tiered levels of service avail- 
able. Some Internet data, that is, will fly first 
class, others will travel business or coach, and a 
lucky few, apparently, will board broadband's 
version of the Concorde. 

That seems to be what Cisco Systems has in 
mind, anyway. One of the leading suppliers of 
networking hardware and software, Cisco's 
technology will allow network operators to 
"optimize service profits by marketing 'express' 
services to premium customers ready to pay for 
superior network performance." Far from being 
the problem of the twenty-first century, then, 
for Cisco Systems and its clients, the digital 
divide may turn out to be a bonanza. "One way 
to achieve high revenue per subscriber," Cisco 
declares, in perhaps the clearest expression of 
its business strategy, "is by segmenting the mar- 
ket and charging what the market will bear 
within each market segment." And that's a 
price we'll all have to pay, regardless on which 
side of the digital divide we fall. 

Gary O. Larson is a contributing editor to The 
Independent who reports on telecommunication issues. 



FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 

AIVF, in collaboration with Libraries for the 
Future (LFF) and the City College of New York, 
hosted the Bridging the Digital Divide forum in 

February in association with TEACHARLEM II 

technology conference, as part of AIVF & LFF's 

telecommunications series. 

To find out more on the Harlem forum and its 
participants, visit: www.aivf.org/advocacy 



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i.;y:^-.;r m 



ART & ANTHROPOLOGY 

The Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival 

by Liz Mermin 



of the few personal documentaries in the festi- 
val (a notable change from years past) , is about 
a different disturbing world. Berman tells the 
story of his childhood friend, now mentally dis- 
turbed and a convicted bank robber, with a deft 
comic touch, weaving super 8 footage from 
their childhood gangster films and seventies 



The anthropologist Margaret Mead used 
film as a tool for research in the field, and had 
no use for art in film. The American Museum 
of Natural History in New York City, where 
Mead worked and where the Margaret Mead 
Film & Video Festival has taken place for 23 
years, also promotes science over art. The festi- 
val balances the interests of its host institution 
with attention to artistic developments in the 
film world by showcasing both films that might 
be considered anthropological and films that 
explore the aesthetic boundaries of documen- 
tary. 

Against the backdrop of network television's 
recent appetite for fast and cheap verite-style 
programs, festival director Elaine Charnov 
opened this year's festival, held November 12- 
20, by looking back to the birth of the verite 
movement. Allan King's A Married Couple 
(1969, Canada) should be in the canon along- 
side Fred Wiseman's Titticut Follies and the 
Maysles brothers' Salesman. King's crew spent 
10 weeks with a Toronto couple, Billy and 
Antoinette Edwards. The Edwards are clever 
and engaging and often seem to be playing for 
the camera, but their marriage is going through 
a rough period. The couple's sharp sense of 
humor is exaggerated by their clothes — 
Antoinette favors short dresses with poodle - 
like frills, and Billy hangs around in red briefs 
occasionally paired with a suede vest — but 
when their fighting escalates to the point where 
Billy knocks Antoinette down, the film abrupt- 
ly stops feeling like comedy. When their emo- 
tions take over and they seem to forget that the 
camera is there, the result is wrenching, and 
the revealing details the camera captures inten- 
sify our empathy for two people trying to figure 
out whether or not they are still in love. The 
festival also featured King's exploration of a 
controversial center for troubled youth, 
Warrendale (1967), evidence of the power of 
verite to bring abstract social issues to life. 

At the opposite extreme from King's pure 
verite was Chantal Ackerman's South (1999), 
an exploration of American race relations cen- 
tered around James Byrd, Jr. (the African 
American man dragged to death in Texas). 
South alternates interviews and traveling shots 




PAST & FUTURE: Allan King's 1969 verite classic A Married 
Couple gets a revival, and (inset) android art is on view in 
Pandemonium, both at the Mead doc test. 



in Ackerman's trademark pace — slow enough 
to force attention to every detail contained 
within the frame. With the exception of Byrd's 
memorial service, which is cut almost conven- 
tionally, South defies the language of documen- 
tary. Ackerman uses no cutaways and relatively 
few jump cuts, allowing interviewees to talk 
uninterrupted for unusually long stretches, and 
footage most filmmakers would use as B-roll 
(two puppies playing in the grass) are extended 
into long single shots to become scenes in 
themselves. The film is less interesting as a 
commentary on Southern race relations than as 
an exploration of the possibilities that lie in 
breaking the rules of documentary. 

Leslie Asako Gladsjo and Richard Curson 
Smith's 1995 Pandemonium, a BBC program 
about four U.S. android artists, may have been 
the most fascinating film in the festival. 
Android artists explaining their peculiar work, 
which is beautifully filmed, reveal themselves 
to be part of a unique and somewhat disturbing 
artistic, technological, and political subculture. 
Jonathan Berman's M} Friend Paul (1999), one 



rock with the unseemly reality 7 of his friend's 
adult predicament. Arlene Donnelly's Naked 
States, which closed the festival, follows pho- 
; tographer Spencer Tunick through a 50-state 
j tour in which he seeks out models to photo- 
graph nude. Donnelly backed the right horse — 
i we watch Tunick go from a struggling unknown 
craving a line in Art Forum to an art-world 
I coverboy — but her film is wisely focused more 
I on questions of how Tunick gets his nudes to 
j pose and what it means to him and to them 
| than on the artist's rise to fame. 

Some strong films about foreign and little - 
known topics included Thierry Michel's 
Mobutu, King of Zaire (1999, Democratic 
Republic of Congo), which uses fabulous 
archives and eerily intimate video footage to 
paint a portrait of the brutal creator of Zaire; 
| Jos de Putter's The Making of a New Empire 
(1999, Chechnya), which weaves the recent 
history of Chechnya together with the a por- 
I trait of Khozh-Ahmed Noukhaev, the charis- 
matic leader of the Chechen independence 



14 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



movement; and Jasmine Dellal's American 
Gypsy: A Stranger in Everybody's Land (1999), a 
rare look inside Romani culture that exposes 
the prejudice that Roma gypsies face in the U.S. 

This year's seminar was "High Definition: 
Pursuing the Art," co-presented by Inter- 
national Film Seminars and Full Res. Curator 
Somi Roy tried to lead a discussion about the 
artistic potential of this new medium through 
Kohei Ando and Dyanna Taylor, two longtime 
filmmakers who recently turned to HD as an 
experimental and expressive medium, but the 
audience was more interested in technical 
details. Two of Ando's dramatic HD films, A 
Story about Kusanojo (1997) and Whispers of 
Vermeer (1998), and Taylor's HD documentary 
Vanished (1999) demonstrated that HD is capa- 
ble of unique textures and effects. Whispers of 
Vermeer in particular shows how HD can be 
used dramatically: Ando uses Vermeer paint- 
ings (looking sharper than slide projections) to 
create a sinister and completely surreal 
Japanese fairy tale — a beautiful way to use HD, 
which is usually faulted for being far too real. 

"Untold Story: Documentary Filmmakers 
and the One That Got Away," co-presented by 
live storytelling series "Stories at the Moth" and 
New York University's Center for Media, 
Culture and History, was new to the festival 
this year. Hosted by Timothy "Speed" Levitch 
of Bennett Miller's The Cruise, the program 
featured stories by filmmakers St. Clair Bourne, 
Albert Maysles, Mira Nair, Miller, and HBO's 
Sheila Nevins. Maysles also showed an incredi- 
ble clip from footage he and his brother shot of 
Orson Welles at a Spanish bullfight. Though 
Nair and Nevins twisted the theme — Nair by 
telling about famous men she'd met (who got 
away?) and Nevins by telling about pitches 
she'd thrown out of her office — and rumor had 
it that Miller concocted the ending of his story, 
in which he beat Bobby Fisher at chess, the 
program was entertaining. 

The shadow of Mead and her museum can 
be felt in audience responses to the films as 
transparent windows onto other worlds and to 
filmmakers as expert witnesses. While this 
focus on content can be frustrating, it gives 
makers a chance to present their work to non- 
film-world audiences interested more in stories 
than in style or approach. Because the Mead is 
filled with films one wouldn't encounter any- 
place else, it is a festival for audiences and film- 
makers who are curious about the range of sub- 
jects and styles that documentary can take on. 

Liz Mermin is a New York-based documentary 
filmmaker and writer. 



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The Thirteenth MIX Festival 
by Mark J 



HUISMAN 



Experience), 1973), featuring incredible footage 
of the Women's Olympics and the normally 
male-dominated Gay Pride, and Joe 
Westmoreland's At Home with the Stars ( 1 984) . 
The 'Preserving Identities' program (curated 
by Jon Gartenberg) featured work being pre- 
served by the Estate Project for Artists with 
AIDS, which included Warren Sonbert's first 
student film — co-directed with Wendy 
Appel — the sex and drug-laced Amphetamine 
(1969). Sonbert's willfully angry Noblesse Oblige 




Superstition says thirteen is an unlucky 
number. But thumbing their noses at fate- 
okay, maybe they were hoping for a little post- 
screening nookie — the gang over at the New 
York Lesbian 6k Gay Experimental Film/Video 
Festival titled their dozen plus one outing MIX 
13: Get Lucky! The event, held from 
November 10-14 at New York's Anthology Film 
Archives, was festive all round, even if this crit- 
ic's pulls on the screening slot machine came 
up with both cherries and lemons. 

Mixed programs (call them cherry sours) 
included opening night's shorts compilation, 
'Jackpot!,' which reflected the unevenness per- 
meating this event for the past several years. 
However, as an HIV-positive viewer, I've always 
appreciated the fact that MIX has never shied 
away from films about AIDS, and this program 
was no exception. Mark Taylor's Lesson 9, a mix 
of medical diary, imagined narrative, random 



images like shiny cascading pills that seemed 
almost beautiful, and intimate whispered dia- 
logue, compared the secrets behind a house's 
walls to a virus "moving about under my skin." 
Lorelei Pepi's Grace featured some stunning 
animation, while Katrina del Mar's Gang Girls 
2000 wondrously imagines an extended fight 
between two gangs, the Glitter Chicks and the 
Truck Sluts. Russ Meyer's got nothing on these 
dames. 

MIX co-founder and current board presi- 
dent Jim Hubbard curated a beautiful series of 
flicks from past fests called 'In Danger.' As fresh 
as yesterday, they rolled by: Oblivion (1969) and 
jabbok (1967) from Tom Chomont, Mike 
Kuchar's Fragments (1972), Roger Jacoby's 
Floria (1974), a rip-roaring version of "Tosca" 
starring Ondine and Madeline LaRoux, 
Marguerite Paris' All Women Are Equal (1971), 
The LOVE Tapes (Lesbians Organized for Video 



(1981) and James Wentzy's Holding Stead}' 
Without Screaming (1995) are already pre- 
served. Jack Waters' The Male Gayze (1990) is 
currently being restored, while work scheduled 
for restoration includes Curt McDowell's 
Confessions (1971) and David Wojnarowicz's 
U2 video One, which famously closed with his 
1988-1989 pictograph Untitled (Falling Buffalo), 
one of the most apocalyptic yet personal visuals 
about AIDS. Fundraising hint: Pop groups and 
singers should be held up to ante up tor these 
preservation efforts. 

To further the preservation project, called 
Memorizing MIX, Hubbard secured a grant 
from the New York Stale Council on the Arts 
to survey every single artist MIX has evei 
shown and learn where preservation crises may 
exist. Hubbard advises makers to care tor their 
own work immediately, while they are still 



March 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 17 




f'Ois 



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"Filmmakers should keep internegatives in 
climate -controlled storage designed for film," 
he says. "Extra internegatives should be made 
on reversal stock. And make a will that 
bequeaths your entire body of work, specifical- 
ly and thoroughly listed, to an archive with 
good storage facilities that is instititionally ded- 
icated to preserving it." 

Hubbard recommends that videomakers 
make Beta SP masters for analog work, trans- 
fering work that originated on digital tape to a 
higher quality digital tape, like D2 or D5. 
"When we started telling [our] stories, the 
resulting body of work was ignored because it 
was considered 'difficult,' says Hubbard. "By 
the time the work received some attention, the 
makers had started to die. It's up to us, having 
made and told our histories, to preserve it for 
our future." 

It's an admirable goal with only one short- 
coming: There are no women on the preserva- 
tion list. And while one can technically justify 
the Estate Project's focus on men because of 
the AIDS epidemic, doing so belies two things: 
Women get AIDS, too, and the female 
film/video community has been just as devas- 
tated by cancer and violent crime as the male 
community has been by AIDS. I'm sure fest co- 
founder Sarah Schulman and artistic director 
Anie S8 Stanley can help find a way to memo- 
rize and preserve lesbian work. 

Other highlights included the "Midnight 
Blue Movie Series." A fancy way of saying 
"Dicks and ass after the 11 o' clock news," the 
blue series featured "Peep Show," an amazing 
collection of Mexican porn reels that makes 
American porn look truly milquetoast, and 
Andy Warhol's 1964 Couch, set entirely on his 
infamous Factory sofa. Even if you had to be 
told the upholstery was red because the film 
was black and white, you could see plenty of 
local (if nostalgic) color: The late Alan 
Ginsburg and Peter Orlovsky, the (then) fresh- 
faced Ondine and Baby Jane Holzer and, my 
personal favorite, a very energetic Amy Taubin 
who is, thank goodness, even more alive and 
kicking today. 

Tung Wang Wu's Missing Marilyn Monroe in 



Mark Taylor's Lesson 9, 
among Mix's opening night 
shorts. 



the 'Cracker' sidebar 
(inspired by — what 
else? — divine white- 
ness) was the best 
single minute of film/ 
video I've seen in 
years, with its farcical 
racial and facial jux- 
tapositions. Go, 
Marilyn-Wang Wu 
Monroe -Tung! 

Closing night was 
a dead-on blast. The 'Remote Control' series 
featured the strongest collection of work in the 
entire fest, and even if I had devoted this entire 
piece to it I still couldn't have done the film- 
makers justice, particularly the amazingly craft- 
ed visuals of Wayne Yung's Search Engine. The 
feature that followed, the San Francisco-set 
and filmed The joys of Smoking, by first-timer 
Nick Katsapetses, is a simply astonishing piece 
of cinema. Examining what happens when two 
gay men named Gray and Daniel meet and 
decide to have a commitment ceremony nearly 
right away, is a perfect start for the decade fol- 
lowing the theatrical gay nineties. What if one 
(or both) doesn't really love the other? What if 
one (or both) can't commit? The joys of Smoking 
says more about contemporary queer relation- 
ships than most of the films of the last decade 
added together. It's smart, sassy, observant film- 
making, with a compelling story, a collection of 
fine performances and, most important, the 
probing but moving sensibility that once 
marked films like Poison, Swoon, and Go Fish!, 
but that is maddeningly absent from current 
queer cinema. 

If given its proper chance, The joys of 
Smoking is precisely the kind of work that could 
both grow the audience for experimental work 
and launch the genre into theaters where it 
belongs alongside its mainstream counterparts. 
MIX and its various supporters and staffers — 
including festival director Rajendra Roy, 
Stanley, Hubbard, and Sarah Schulman — have 
supported this work and these groups of makers 
long before anybody else in the country. Their 
vision was prescient and their dedication is 
beyond admirable. But I will literally scream 
"FIRE!" in the theater if I hear another pro- 
grammer, board member, staffer, curator, or pre- 
senter "explicate" experimental work by using 
labels like "challenging," "difficult," or "compli- 
cated." It's damn fine work, already, so shut up 
and let people enjoy it! 

Mark]. Huisman [cinemark(a mindspring.com] is a 
contributing editor to The Independent. 



18 THE. INDEPENDENT March 2000 



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STARFISH MEMORIES 

The Hamptons International Film Festival 



by Sabina Dana Plasse 




BUONA SERA: Louis Prima: The Wildest! knocked 'em dead at 
the Hamptons, one of several noteworthy documentaries. 



For four days 
last October, the 
quaint town of East 
Hampton reclaim- 
ed its streets from 
traffic cops and 
hull-market billion- 
aires to play open 
house to the 
Hamptons Interna- 
tional Film Festival. 
In only seven short 
years, the Hamp- 
tons has become a 
well-known stop on 
the festival circuit, 
but many filmmak- 
ers don't know why. 
Dwelling on the 
edge of Long Island, 
the Hamptons has 
been under scrutiny 
since its youth with 
industry observers 
waiting to see if it 
would ever become 

a contender among unofficial film markets in 
the U.S. Perhaps in 1999 the festival finally laid 
down the foundation to be taken seriously. 

Some say the Hamptons had all the makings 
of a "Sundance East" — what with its wealthy 
board of directors, its array of sponsors, and its 
location that's not only community supported 
but is an autumn getaway — but the Hamptons 
lacks the Robert Redford to lead it. Even so, 
being a scenic bus ride away from New York 
City, the festival is an easy stop for distributors 
and a great showcase for many Gotham-based 
independents who believe the Hamptons audi- 
ences are particularly suited for their work 
because of their New York edge. Returning for 
her second year as co-director of programming, 
Lynda Hansen dismissed the comparison: 
"Every festival is unique. Why would any festi- 
val try to become Sundance? One is enough. 
It's a great festival and we don't need another." 

This year the Hamptons managed to get its 
act together organizationally, cleaning up a bad 
track record of film screening and party con- 
flicts, posting new schedules every day with 



consistent an- 

nouncements 
about events, and 
providing a very 
accommodating 
hospitality suite 
suitably situated in 
the eclectic Hunt- 
ing Inn. It also ben- 
efited from having 
the two "Lindas" — 
Lynda Hansen and 
Linda Blackaby — 
return as co-direc- 
tors of program- 
ming. A stabilizing 
influence, they also 
made interesting 
choices for the line- 
up. 

Filmmakers were 
very positive about 
this year's edition. 
Woody Allen's pro- 
ducer, Jean Dou- 
manian, who 

screened two new films, Just Looking and Into 
the Heart, and was also scouting emerging inde- 
pendent filmmakers, says, "Names do not make 
a festival; it is the films, the discovery of films. 
My films were in very good company." Equally 
supportive was producer Gill Holland, who pre- 
miered his latest project, Bobby Z. Can't Swim, 
directed by John-Luke Montias, in the Golden 
Starfish competition. An old hand to the 
Hamptons, Holland also served as judge for this 
year's student film competition. "The 
Hamptons is one of the top 10 U.S. -film festi- 
vals with great programming. It has grown very 
quickly and made a very big bang," he says. 
"The special programming [and] the World 
Cinema is excellent. It is welcoming and hassle 
free. I don't know if bigger is better." 

Some of the strongest works this year were 
nonfiction productions. Winning best docu- 
mentary in the Golden Starfish Competition 
was Night Waltz: The Music of Paul Bowles, 
directed and produced by Owsley Brown III. It 
was an auspicious achievement, considering 
the recent death of Bowles. Brown, an ex-wine- 



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FIL7VA FESTIVAL 

18tb Annual Film/Video Festival 

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center 
May 18th-21st, 2000 

Call or Write for Entry Forms (Due 4/1/00) 

Christopher Cooke, Director 

Long Island Film Festival 

c/o P.O. Box 13243 

Hauppauge, NY 11788 

1-800-762-4769 . (516) 853-4800 

From 10:00am-6pm, Mon-Fri 

or visit our website at www.lifilm.org 



maker, made his directorial debut with an 
approach to Bowles that reveals an expatriate 
composer full of charm and wit who as a purist 
rejected the likes of Aaron Copland. Filmed in 
Morocco with Bowles' compositions woven 
throughout and accompanied by footage from 
experimental filmmakers Rudy Burckhardt, 
Nathaniel Dorsky, and Jerome Hitler, Brown 
illuminates a very important 20th century com- 
poser who believed his music was known only 
because of his literary success, most notably 
The Sheltering Sky. 

Taking home the Audience Award for best 
documentary was Louis Prima: The Wildest, 
directed and produced by Joe Lauro and Don 
McGlynn. The duo provide an entertaining 
portrait of legendary big band leader, revealing 
Prima's passion for music and performing while 
surviving four decades of changing sound and 
entertainment. Through glimpses of rare televi- 
sion footage, Lauro and McGlynn give us a 
peek into the world of Prima that also features 
his wife, Keeley Smith, who was well known as 
Prima's deadpan partner. 

Taking an Honorary Mention, Peace of Mind, 
directed by Mark Landsman and produced by 
Susan Siegel, focused on the Israeli and 
Palestinian conflict, presenting it through the 
eyes of the youth who live it. An important 
film, Peace of Mind "educates and informs on 
one of the most contentious issues in the 
American- Jewish community," explains Siegel, 
who is executive director of Global Action 
Project, a nonprofit organization for youth try- 
ing to create peace in the face of ethnic con- 
flict. Through Global Action Project, Siegel has 
made 28 videos on ethnic conflict all over the 
world, all involving the experiences of youth. 

Making a strong directorial debut was Katya 
Bankowsky, whose documentary Shadow Boxers 
offers an intimate look at a world champion 
female boxer, Lucia Rijker. As it charts her rise, 
the film offers insights into the present-day 
popularity of women's boxing. 

Emerging from its growing pains, the 

Hamptons International Film Festival has 

found some stability after a past of revolving 

staff and directors. With a strong selection of 

films and better organization, as well as the 

return of executive director Denise Kasell and 

the programming team of Hansen and 

Blackaby, 1999 may prove to be a coming-of- 

age time for the festival. 

Sabina Dana Plasse [sdanap@yahoo.com] is a film- 
maker living in New York who emerged from Hamptons 
Magazine as a freelance writer. 



20 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



INSIDE HAVANA 

Cuba's International Festival of 
New Latin American Cinema 



Amidst booming tourism and political ral- 
lies, the 21st International Festival of the New 
Latin American Cinema held center stage in 
Havana in early December. With close to 1,700 
foreign participants (including 1,100 officially 




Not your daddy's Cuba: Contemporary Havana is a musical comedy of errors in 
A Paradise Under the Stars. 



classified as tourists) and 600 productions, it 
reconfirmed its position as the principal Latin 
American venue, showcasing virtually any film 
produced in Latin America the prior year. But 
in spite of economic constraints reflected in the 
scarcity of Cuban productions (and consumer 
products), a feeling of an opening persisted, 
reinforced by the noticeable presence of U.S. 
filmmakers and tourists and the relative inde- 
pendence of Havana's ICAIC film school, the 
Cuban Film Institute, and the film festival from 
government interference. 

Over the past few years, film production in 
Cuba has declined sharply. In the 1980s 
between 10-12 features were completed each 
year, including numerous critically acclaimed 
works, whereas only one or two films were 
made annually in the 1990s. Documentaries 
decreased from 60 to about 10 a year. The col- 
lapse of East European and Asian markets also 
curtailed sales of Cuban films and access to 
production technologies, forcing the festival to 
close down its film market several years ago. 

Foreign co-productions now seem to be the 



by Claus Mueller 

norm for feature-length films but constitute 
limited answers to the local malaise (as does 
the emphasis on video). Commercially- orient- 
ed foreign co-producers are not necessarily 
interested in artistic films and may hold car- 
toon-like views of Cuba. 
To complicate matters, 
Cuban authorities do not 
favor open media markets 
in spite of the apparent 
dollarization of the econo- 
my. Humberto Solas, 
director of the ICAIC, sit- 
uates the problems as "the 
film industry facing spiri- 
tual ambiguities . . . [and] 
the consequences of cul- 
tural tourism," as well as 
the "problems of a mixed 
economy." 

Symptomatic of this is 
the very popular Cuban 
coproduction A Paradise 
Under the Stars, by Gerar- 
do Chijona, which received the festival's Coral 
prize for best sound track and music. Against 
the background of Havana's famed Tropicana 
cabaret, contemporary Cuban life is presented 
as an ongoing musical comedy of errors and 
deceptions, a lightness that also characterized 
Amanda's Prophecies by Pastor Vegar. In con- 
trast, many of the 14 Argentine productions 
dominating the awards had gritty socio-politi- 
cal realities as central themes, and were fre- 
quently filmed in black and white. Prize win- 
ners from that country included Olympus 
Garage (M. Bechis), Crane World (R Trapero), 
and Solo Gente (R. Maiocco), and the out- 
standing Mercedes Garcia Guevara's Rio 
Escondito, also selected for the Sundance festi- 
val. 

The Havana event was handicapped by the 
scarcity of English subtitles and simultaneous 
translations (except for one venue), hampering 
the large number of foreign participants who 
didn't speak Spanish. (ICAIC did receive, how- 
ever, an electronic subtitling unit from Italy.) 
More crucial for the festival's development was 




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Long Island International 
Film Expo 2000 

Seeks Submissions for 
July 14-20 Film Festival 

* 

Short and Feature length films, 

all genres considered. 

If accepted, ability to screen 

in 16mm, 35mm and VHS Video. 

Cut off date May 15. 

For application, please email 

debfilm@aol.com 

or call 516-571-3168 

The Long Island International Film Expo 

is under the auspices of the 
Long Island Film &TV Foundation and 
the Nassau County Film Commission 



mentary 
estival 



April 6-9, 2000 

Durham, North Carolina 

Four days of general submissions, curated 

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the absence of major buyers and distributors 
from North America and Europe. Films were 
screened in 20 Havana theaters and a dozen 
other venues in provincial Cuba, playing to 
sold-out houses irrespective of genre and 
themes and reaching about half a million 
Cubans. 

Festival sections covered national cinemas 
such as German, Soviet, and Japanese films, 
but also selections from the Dogma 95 group 
and La Sept/Arte. Homages to individual direc- 
tors like Claude Chabrol were in the program, 
as well as selections from the Clermont Ferrand 
Short Film Festival and New York University. 
Films in the Sundance sampler included Pi, 
Velvet Goldmine, The Farm, Happiness, Slam, 
and American Hollow, though the latter print 
apparently never arrived. Several U.S. indepen- 
dents excelled: Laurie Collyer shared the Coral 
for best non-Latin American documentary for 
her Nuyorican Dream with Catherine Ryan, 
who was honored for The Double Life of Ernesto 
Gomez Gomez- These films were selected since 
they offered distinct perspectives of Puerto 
Ricans' life "in the contradictory relationship 
between their country and the United States." 
William O'Neill and Michael Skolnick received 
a special prize for Hot Comer "for encouraging 
via film a space for political dialogue . . . 
between the U.S. and Cuba." Other interesting 
productions by Cuban-Americans included the 
rapidly cut The Escalator by Geo Darden and 
Eduardo Machados' pensive Exiles in New York. 

Visiting filmmakers felt at home in the 
relaxed festival atmosphere in spite of the 
absence of business opportunities. The appeal 
of Cuba as a 'forbidden country' seemed odd in 
peaceful Havana. There was no sense of danger 
on the streets, dollars were openly accepted, 
and Cuban cigars readily available. Politically 
and socially oriented films on Latino themes 
had a receptive audience and jury, as revealed 
by the success of Collier's and Ryan's films. 
Viewers equally applauded films as diverse as 
Estela Bravo's Fidel, an enlightening portrait of 
Castro, and Todd Solondz's Happiness, a con- 
troversial representation of sexual aberrations 
and pedophilia in today's U.S. 

Film buffs who couldn't make it to Havana 
can enjoy Cuban films at New York's 
Anthology Film Archives from March 17-26. 
The first Havana Film Festival in New York will 
present current Cuban features, roundtables 
with Cuban directors, and award-winning 
Cuban films from past Havana festivals. 

Claus Mueller [cmueller@hunter.cuny.edu] is a New 

York based media analyst wlw curates the annual 

New York Screening Days. 



22 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



O^-^O 



This is Your Life 

Negotiating Life Story Agreements 



by Robert L . S eigel 




TRUTH OR FICTION? Either way, getting a life story 
agreement with your subjects is recommended. 
Pictured: (above) Chloe Sevigny and Hilary Swank 
in Boys Don't Cry, and (right) the real Brandon 
Teena and Lana, subject of Susan Muska & Greta 
Olafsdottir's 1998 documentary. 



NONFICTION BIOGRAPHIES HAVE THE POTENTIAL 
to be great commercial and critical successes, 
as proven by such films as Bennett Miller's The 
Cruise, Chris Smith and Sarah Price's American 
Mowe, Isaac Mizrahi's Unzipped, and Terry 
Zwigoff s Crumb, to name a few. But before any 
filmmaker embarks on a biographical docu- 
mentary, it's essential to know the myriad legal, 
business, and ethical issues one is bound to 
face when filming the life of a living, breathing 
person. 

General releases are often sufficient when 
interviewing secondary or peripheral people. 
However, both fiction and nonaction produc- 
ers have begun to recognize the need for a 
film's subject to sign a more detailed Consent 
and Depiction Release or a life story agree- 
ment. 

These agreements serve several purposes. 
The first has to do with Errors 6k Omissions 
(E&O) insurance. No matter how newsworthy 



a subject and how powerful a First Amendment 
argument may be, the project must be covered 
by E&.0 insurance. This is a form of coverage 
that protects you against claims which third 
parties may bring concerning libel and/or slan- 
der, invasion of privacy, right of publicity, and 
copyright and trademark infringement. E6kO 
policies are required as a "deliverable element" 
when you enter into agreements with sales 
agents, distributors, and other licensees, who 
often will demand that they be named as "addi- 
tional insured" parties. 

Life story agreements should include a key 
provision in which a subject waives his or her 
rights to bring such claims. This waiver will 
assist you in securing such E&O coverage. 

Second, a Consent and Depiction Release 
can help protect you from spending years on a 
biographical film, only to find a similar project 
beating yours to the marketplace. In this 
release, you will ask for assurances from the 



subject that he or she will not do anything that 
might undermine the project's progress or value 
in a narrow marketplace. These can take the 
form of a provision that limits or prevents the 
subject, for a certain period of time, from enter- 
ing into an agreement with other mediamakers 
who may want to produce potentially compet- 
ing fiction or nonfiction projects. By your 
requesting exclusive nonfictional (and, in rare 
cases, fictional) rights to depict or utilize ele- 
ments of a subject's life in a media project, you 
take the subject "off the market" regarding pos- 
sibly competing projects. 

This in itself, however, might not be enough. 
Witness the competing TV renditions of the 
Amy Fisher story, for instance, depicting the 
story of a minor who was convicted of shooting 
her lover's wife. One network secured Fisher's 
rights, a second network secured the rights to 
Joey and Mary Jo Buttafuoco's story (about how 
Fisher had an affair with Joey and shot Mary 
Jo), and a third network merely used news and 
magazine articles and court transcripts to tell 
its own version of the Fisher tabloid saga. 
Therefore, you may be obligated to obtain the 
exclusive rights not only to your subject's life 
story, but also to those of secondary figures, 
such as family members and friends. 

Life story agreements generally include a 
window period of exclusivity. This sets up cer- 
tain goals or milestones you must achieve to 
keep the rights (otherwise, subjects would be 
precluded from having their story told even if 
you abandoned the project or put it on the 
proverbial "back burner"). Typical milestones 
generally would require you to secure some or 
all of the financing or to commence or con- 
clude principal photography within a certain 
period of time. If you don't achieve your mile- 
stone within a given time period, then you 
would lose exclusivity and your subject could 
work with other mediamakers on potentially 
competitive projects. 

You should not agree to be obligated to com- 
plete production on a project or have it exploit- 
ed within a certain period of time, since there 
are several factors beyond your control which 
may affect the ability of a project to be distrib- 
uted (such as changing programming and audi- 
ence interests). Also, you should also never 
have your right to produce a project non-exclu- 
sively contingent upon such milestones; other- 
wise, your years of hard work and expended 
funds could be destroyed. 

Life story agreements also should contain a 
covenant of cooperation provision in which 
your subject agrees to provide you with xu'- 



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to any information in his or her possession (e.g., 
newspaper and magazine articles, photographs, 
personal notes and writings, and other memo- 
rabilia). However, you must recognize the 
rights of privacy of third parties who may have 
written, sent, or been mentioned in private 
papers. Another aspect of this 
cooperation covenant would 
require your subject to use rea- 
sonable or best efforts to work 
with you to obtain releases from 
such third parties, such as your 
subject's family members and 
friends. Although a subject can- 
not guarantee success in such 
efforts, he or she can at 
least assist you in pro- 
ducing the project and 
lessening your possible 
legal exposure. 

There should be a 
grant of rights provi- 
sion in these agree- 
ments that would per- 
mit you to market and 
exploit the project 
throughout the world 
(or even the universe, 
especially with the 
growth of direct broad- 
cast satellite delivery) in 
perpetuity and in any 
medium, "whether now 

known or hereafter devised," such as by the- 
atrical release, home video (including DVD 
and other formats), television (including net- 
work, syndication, cable, satellite, etc.), and by 
interactive or on-line means. 

Another feature of these agreements is the 
right to a subject's life story in a way that 
enables you to enter into a financing/distribu- 
tion agreement either before, during, or after 
production. You also should have the right to 
use your subject's name, voice, nickname, or 
likeness not only in the project itself but also in 
its advertising and promotion. These rights and 
other provisions should be assignable to your 
successors (that is, your sales agent, distributor, 
or licensee). 

One of the most important issues in the life 
story rights agreement concerns the extent to 
which a subject may have consultation or 
approval rights. This is an area that forces you 
to balance the need to form a relationship with 
your subject built on trust with your need to 
produce a project with a minimum of interfer- 
ence from the subject. This issue also extends 



to your treatment of subject's family and 
friends. Only in the rarest of cases should you 
grant any approval rights to a subject for the 
reasons addressed above; however, you can 
grant "meaningful consultation" rights (i.e., a 
subject's right to review and comment on the 




project) either throughout the course of the 
project or just prior to when the final version is 
available for screening. While some mediamak- 
ers will listen to a subject's comments and alter 
or edit their project accordingly, others will lis- 
ten and decide not to include a subject's com- 
ments or suggestions. 

vSome mediamakers, such as Jennifer Fox 
(producer/director of An American Love Story) , 
have taken the potentially problematical and 
risky step of agreeing to remove any part of a 
project that may cause their subject significant 
concerns. These decisions are often based on 
the relationship between a mediamaker and 
subject. 

The agreement should also address your 
right to produce or license others to produce 
such ancillary products as companion books, 
audio recordings, and, merchandising. These 
rights are often granted unconditionally to the 
mediamaker and, in other cases, are subject to 
good-faith negotiations, especially if the parties 
cannot reach an agreement on this point when 
the life story agreement is being drawn up. 



24 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



There should be a clear understanding of 
whether a mediamaker has acquired solely non- 
fiction rights to a subject's life story or fiction 
rights as well. It stands to reason that a subject 
may want to grant these rights to different par- 
ties, especially someone else who has more 
experience in the fiction arena. However, non- 
fiction mediamakers occasionally create "re- 
enactments" of certain parts of a subject's life 
story. If you think you might want to produce 
such re-enactments, be sure to include a provi- 
sion concerning fictionalization. 

One of the thorniest provisions concerns 
compensation for your subject. Some media- 
makers maintain that payment or even the 
potential for payment can compromise a pro- 
ject's integrity by introducing a monetary 
motive. Others would argue that compensating 
subjects for their time and participation is sim- 
ply a pragmatic economic reality, especially 
given their time commitment during a project 
and the proliferation of outlets for biographical 
projects on basic and pay cable as well as on 
home video. 

Both you and your subject must recognize 
the economic realities concerning nonfiction 
projects: that for every Roger & Me or Hoop 
Dreams, there are many more projects that lose 
money or just break even. 

Some subjects (and their advisors) often 
request that their compensation should be at 
least a fee taken from a project's budget. 
However, this request does not recognize the 
fact that documentaries are often funded in 
increments over a period of time, thereby 
reducing the likelihood that there will be 
upfront fees for subjects. It's more reasonable, 
therefore, to enter into a profit-sharing or 
deferment arrangement, in which the subject 
would be paid either a fixed sum or a percent- 
age of the monies derived from the project's 
exploitation after a project's costs have been 
recouped or repaid. Since the likelihood that a 
documentary would generate such "profits" is 
remote, your offer to share potential profits is 
often a sign of good faith which acknowledges 
the importance of your subject's involvement 
in a project. 

Although certain mediamakers and subjects 
are reluctant to enter into a life story agree- 
ment, it is not only prudent from a business and 
legal standpoint, but also can be one of the first 
steps you take to establish a relationship with 
your subject that's based on openness, fairness, 
and trust. 

Robert L. Seigel (Rlsentlaw@aol.com] is a NYC enter- 
tainment attorney and a prirtcipal in the Cinema Film 

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March 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 25 




An intrepid independent producer offers a 
eld guide to a mysterious land to which 
there are no maps, where filmmakers 
must slash their way through a 
wilderness of deadly acronyms and 
orge alliances between separate tribes. 

Patric Hedlund 



fc 



%o 



B Y 



Air kisses are zinging across the ballroom of the San Francisco 

Hilton, sleek as missiles sailing over acres of 
tables festive with white chocolate 
models of the Empire 
State Building. ^K I 

Y_ ^ W "' Lunch at the PBS 

V J* Annual Meeting is a tribal 

rite, a unifying ceremony where sta- 
tion managers, programmers, and publicists 
from 350 affiliated television stations converge to 
schmooze, booze, boogie, and be wooed into cozying up to the PBS 
schedule for the coming season. One thousand people representing 
every square foot of America are being hosted to salmon, baby greens, 
Chardonnay, and mousse. 

I have no one to blow air kisses to. I'm here 1 as a lone journalist and 
media anthropologist, reporting on behalf of independent producers. 
"Reporters rarely cover these events," a surprised and worried press 
aide says when I register. My mission is to learn how independent pro- 
ducers can chart their way through the PBS jungle. There is very lit- 
tle available to filmmakers about the nuts and bolts of working with 
the public broadcasting system, although it claims that 70% of its pro- 
gramming is supplied by independent producers and our work is 
responsible for fulfilling its mandate to broadcast programs that 
"include fresh perspectives, expand dialogue, welcome controversy, 
and serve all segments of the public." 



Invisible Terrain & Savage Acronyms 

Trying to navigate blindly through layers of public tele- 
vision bureaucracy is confusing to experienced as well 
as new producers. No matter that my past projects 
aired with the History Channel, Fox, Discovery, 
CNN, and CBS, or that my partner's second film won an 
Oscar. We are rubes when it comes to PBS. We have no maps. A friend 
whose last film was on Frontline laughed when we asked for guidance: 
"Outside of a few people in Boston," she said, "I don't have a clue 
about how to work with PBS." We've all heard about ITVS, but isn't 
that just another bottomless well into which we toss proposals? Who are 
the other players, and how can we work with them. 7 How do they work 
together? What should we know about pitching our projects, and to 
whom should we make the pitch? What are the financial options? How 
is it possible to work in a business-like way with PBS affiliates, which 
often seem to expect producers to give their productions away for free? 



;s 01 » 

^ing the & z 



I'm seeking answers to these questions as I enter the annual meet- 
ing. I choose an empty chair at a table near the stage. The purpose for 
today's lunch is to promote Ric Burns' 10-hour series, New York. 

Between bites, there is Lunch Gossip. I learn that Ric and his broth- 
er Ken Burns (of The Civil War, Lewis & Clark, Baseball, and jazz fame) 
will supply over 30 new primetime hours to PBS this year. "It's proba- 
bly the first time that one family has had that kind of presence in a 
schedule since the beginning of public broadcasting," one programmer 
comments. "Ken is also one of the rare producers who has paid back 
production funds," another says. All agree it doesn't hurt to have 
General Motors as his exclusive underwriter until 2003. 

George Plimpton, the blue-blood voice of New York, steps up to the 
podium. As clips from the series begin to roll, wine glasses clink at the 
WGBH-Boston table beside us. 

"I'll explain," whispers the Mississippi 

Director of Technology to my 

right. He leans toward me 

over the bas- 



ket 



S<5 



Cf 



c 



tt 




of twisted 
rolls, trolling his tie 
across a pat of butter: "Although 
this is a 10 x 60 co-produced with 'GBH 
and PBS, WNET is the Presenting Station to 
NPS." 

I see his lips move, the sounds vaguely resemble English, 
but I've left home without my PBS decoder ring. Lunching with 
this crowd requires a glossary and a guidebook. 

There is no way to mistake, however, the discomfort on the faces of 
programmers from the midwest, southeast, and Pacific states as they 
punch spoons into their chocolate mousse. They are worried that they 
are being asked to swallow a 10-hour chunk of the Big Apple which 
may be too long to sustain the interest of their hometown viewers. On 
the other hand, the Lunch itself — and the fact that it isn't easy to sell 
the Brooklyn Bridge to a programmer from Kansas — emphasizes that 
free will and individuality still thrive within public broadcasting. Local 
affiliates make their own decisions about how to use their airtime. If 
they didn't, there would be no need for The Lunch. 

Before adjourning, my table companions assure me that the natives 
are friendly in this strange land. As they scoop up party favors from the 
table — 3D Statue of Liberty puzzles, "I love NY" decals — they say that 
station executives and employees throughout the country are often as 
mystified as producers about how the whole system fits together. These 
are bright and helpful people. But most of them work in just one sec- 
tor of the system and have distinct priorities. State networks such as 
Mississippi, for instance, emphasize education. Loyalty to localism 
is strong. And the impenetrable thicket of acronym-speak insulates 
sectors of the system from one another as surely as dialect separates 
Catalonia from the rest of Spain. 

"PBS" — the Public Broadcasting Service — is a label often used inac- 
curately to refer to the aggregate of organizations that make up our 
public broadcasting system, once known as NET, or National 
Educational Television, now sometimes referred to as Public Television 
or PTV. PBS is an agency that runs the National Programming Service 
(NPS), which supplies primetime and children's series such as Nova 
and Sesame Street. PTV stations subscribe to this service, agreeing to air 
as many as 300 NPS programs a year at the times publicized national- 
ly in TV Guide. When 350 stations work in unison, this becomes the 



^ 



26 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



% 



largest broadcasting network of stations outside of China. Such coop- 
eration helps to attract underwriting. But independent-minded sta- 
tions argue that PBS lacks a clear mandate to speak or make decisions 
for all public television. They also subscribe to several other program- 
ming services in order to fill their schedules and meet local needs. 

The campaign by PBS to become a distinct brand in the world of 
broadcasting is relentless and successful. The public and the press now 
tend to use the term "PBS" to refer to all noncommercial public tele- 
vision. If independent producers are to understand their options, they 
must draw aside the PBS veil to see the vast array of opportunities 
lurking invisibly below the surface. The tangle of interlaced organiza- 
tions we find there can be confusing, but they also provide many doors 
into the public television system. If one door is locked, there are many 
other knobs to rattle, numerous places to apply for funding, and almost 
endless ways to get quality noncommercial programming distributed. 



Alliances 

"It's the age of partnerships," says Jean Bunton, director 
of communications for the Corporation for Public 
Broadcasting (CPB), as she reaches for her iced tea. 
We're at another Lunch, this time for Masterpiece 
Theater's American Edition, a series based on American novels to be 
produced by WGBH, BBC, and American Literary Traditions (of 
Hollywood), underwritten by Mobil, with contributions from PBS, 
CPB, and foundations. The party favors today are rustic wooden 
frames, each holding an etching from one of the historic 
novels. Very refined. We are nibbling baby 
asparagus and goat cheese. 




Scott's The World's Most Wanted Man: The Search for Radovan Karadzic, 
for instance, was aired on Frontline after funding from Channel Four in 
England completed its budget. Local public stations may also wish to 
assist with production costs, co-produce, provide equipment and ser- 
vices support, serve as a nonprofit fiscal agent for the production, be 
the Presenting Station, or all of the above. 

Before setting out to build such alliances, indies should create bud- 
gets that cover their own salary and a 15-20% margin for their compa- 
ny. PBS will also expect to see program promotion, advertising, com- 
munity outreach, website, and educational materials included in your 
planning. 

This patchwork funding model can be time-consuming and 
exhausting. Independent producer Sheila Laffey stopped counting 
when she passed 60 rejections in her quest to fund the eco-doc The 
Last Stand — Struggle for the Ballona Wetlands [see sidebar, page 33]. 

Cadillac Desert (about the exploitation of water around the world) is 
" a four hour co-production between KTEH-San Jose and TransPacific 
Television of Los Angeles, with partial funding from the Ford 
Foundation. Three hundred grant proposals had to be submitted to 
secure 11 positive responses. Six years later, it was the most 
watched series of summer 1997. The lag 
time between first money in and airing of ^y C^4- 



^ 



asparagus ana goat cneese. J % 

trough ^ 



3 



& 



A' 



CPB administers federal funding to 
operate public stations. It serves as a 
buffer between broadcasters and politi- 
cians. For FY 2000, CPB received $300 
million for operating grants to 1,000 radio 
and TV outlets. Of that, $47 million is 
earmarked "to stimulate new quality pro- 
duction" for TV. [See chart, page 31.] 

No one expects a full season of 
"Television at its Best" to be created for 
less than one mid-priced Hollywood 
movie. CPB uses its dollars to prime the 
funding pump: "We rarely invest more 
than 10-15% of the projected production 
budget," Bunton explains. "Our goal is to 

get the ball rolling. Once we're on board, others will put up money to 
get the project done." 

Forming alliances is essential for indies hoping to work with public 
television. Support to produce and air projects typically comes from 
multiple sources, including private foundations, the NEH and NEA, 
the National Science Foundation, state grants, national PBS, corpo- 
rate underwriters, ITVS, and the Minority Consortia. Station-pro- 
duced public television series such as The American Experience or Nova 
sometimes partially finance a project to be run under their banners. Pippa 



"Although this is a 10x60 
co-produced with 'GBH and PBS, 
WNET is the Presenting Station to 

NPS." I see his lips move, the 

sounds vaguely resemble English, 

but I've left home without my PBS 

decoder ring. Lunching with this 

crowd requires a glossary and 

a guidebook. 



programs is often more than four years. 
Cash flow hitches result in produc- 
ers covering the gap with *^ ^^ 

personal funds. 
David Sutherland spent 
two-thirds of the money he'd 
saved for retirement to launch The 
Farmer's Wife, which consumed four 
years before airing as a 6.5 hour Frontline in 1998 
(and again in 1999), securing some of the highest ratings 
ever on public television. It took nine 
years for Jennifer Fox to raise $3 million 
from 30 funders to finish the 10-part An 
American Love Story, which aired Fall '99. 
She put it all into the film with dry times 
of unemployment insurance and person- 
al loans. "You've got to enjoy selling your 
project over and over again, sometimes 
to the same people who you've sold once 
but who have lost faith," says Fox. "You 
have to keep knocking and get them to 
believe in it, all over again." She paid 
herself a salary when possible, "but I still 
don't have a savings account," Fox says. 
[A chart of Fox's alliances can be viewed 
at www.forests.com/trail] 
Finished projects can obtain distribution through 
more than 20 consortia which provide pro- 
gramming to till the broadcast hours not 
committed to NPS. The Acronym Decoder 
see page 34] lists several, with web sue info. 
Consortia otter useful services to 
indies, distributing both syndicated (fee 
tor-license) and fully underwritten (free) 
programming. 




March 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 27 




A National Program Service roster: indie poster child Ken Burns, our favorite detective from Prime Suspect, Mister Rogers, a fowl friend, and newscaster Jim Lehrer. 







. 




Two examples: APT (American Public 
Television) is PTV's second largest national 
program supplier, reaching approximately 250 
stations. It acquires, sells, and distributes 
"how-to" programs such as cooking shows; 
series such as Nightly Business Report; classic 
movie packages; and entertainment like The 
Three Tenors. APT may require a presenting sta- 
tion to confirm that all PTV standards (The 
Hoops: see Decoder) have been 
observed. NETA (The National 
Educational Telecommunications 
Association) provides program 
exchange 
and dis- 
t r i b u - 

169 mem- 
ber stations and educational insti- 
tutions, reaching 150 million 
people. NETA doesn't 



Love Limbo: 
Ervin Duggan, 
former president 
of PBS, groovin' to 
the Bill Sims band at 
a PBS luncheon for 
An American 
Love Story. 



Thanks to Ervin Duggan's Station 
Equity Model, PBS stopped paying 

to broadcast programming. 

The money formerly used to pay 

producers for licensing was now 

buying PBS an ownership share in 

the programs themselves. 



require a presenting station and can move quickly (airing programs 
within four months, or sometimes within one month) ; they do not shy 
away from offering controversial subjects to their members. It's 
Elementary: Talking about Gay Issues in School by Debra Chasnoff was 
distributed by NETA, although PBS received much of the shrapnel 
that exploded around this film — illustrating how the consortia fade 
into invisibility behind the PBS brand name. 

Gayle Lohber, formerly with ITVS, now programming director at 
NETA, says, "our goal is to be a low hassle, low red-tape" way of get- 
ting programs distributed to public television stations. "When you call 
us, you get a person at the end of the phone line. We take the time to 
talk to you." Her email and telecoaching to indies focuses on market- 
ing and how to work diplomatically with program managers. Though 
NETA does not provide funding, Lohber often writes letters of support 
to help with fundraising. NETA also gives producers the first and last 
minute ("tops and tails") of their program to thank underwriters and to 
offer videos directly to the public. They do not seek a percentage of 
video revenue, but producers must budget for an E&.0 insurance pol- 
icy, which can run about $1,500. Lohber suggests closed captioning, 
which may attract additional programmer interest in airing your film, 
because stations have a quota of CC hours they must telecast each year. 
Presenting Stations are another entry 
point, with at least 120 such options 
throughout the country. Presenters confirm 
the program is ready for shopping to distrib- 
utors—to PBS, or NETA, APT, CEN, or 
PBS Plus, for instance. They evaluate the 
film for editorial balance, production values, 
national interest, guidelines regarding cred- 
its, and precise-to-the-frame-length 
requirements. That accomplished, they will 
place notices on the PBS Express intranet to 
publicize the satellite download times to sta- 



28 THE IN 



2000 




tions, and provide mailing and press materials for promotion. 

Producers with advocacy films that are considered too one-sided to 
meet the "editorial balance" test may wish to help programmers put 
together a limited series which bundles together multiple films offering 
differing viewpoints about an issue. Producers dealing with a volatile 
issue in their own communities often find it easier to obtain support 
from a station up the road, where pushing the hot buttons of local 

pledge sup- 
porters pre- 
sents less 
risk. Once 
the program 
has been 
placed on 
the satellite 
by another 
station, it 
can be easi- 
er for a pro- 
grammer in 
the target community to air the film. One of my projects, about alter- 
natives to juvenile incarceration in Arizona, for instance, had to be 
taken to Colorado to be uplinked as a national feed in order to get it 
aired on the PBS affiliate KUAT in Tucson. 

Consortia and stations can also serve as syndicators. Danny 
McGuire, executive producer for KTEH-San Jose, explains: "If a pro- 
ducer has a shortfall in underwriting, say $25,000, syndicators can pro- 
mote your program to stations during regularly scheduled teleconfer- 
ences between affiliates. If enough programmers are willing to put up 
license fees to meet the minimum asking price, you've 'made a con- 
tract' and the film is put on the satellite schedule. After that, as addi- 
tional programmers become interested in airing it, they pitch in to 
increase the license payment." 



It's Elementary: Talking about Gay 
Issues in School was distributed by 
NETA, although PBS received much 

of.the shrapnel that exploded 
around this film — illustrating how 
the consortia fade into invisibility 

behind the PBS brand name. 



McGuire cautions producers, however, to consider their options 
carefully. He tells of a well-produced film about the growing threat of 
childhood TB in the U.S. As presenting station, KTEH wanted to 
make it available free, believing that such an important issue would be 
carried eagerly throughout the country. "I explained that the exposure 
would stimulate a long life of video sells in the educational market," 
McGuire recalls, "but the producer insisted it had to go out as a paid 
program. Unfortunately, out of a potential 290 stations, only three 
were willing to pick it up as a paid offering." 



Barneygate and the 
Station Equity Model 

Independent producers may be shocked by the aggressive 
entrepreneurial spirit they can encounter when taking a 
program proposal to public broadcasting today. 

We can thank the purple dinosaur for part of this, 
Newt Gingrich and PBS management for much of , 
the rest. Just about the time Barney dolls, Barney 
books, Barney pajamas, sheets, cups, back packs, potty 
seats, and sing-along tapes were the passion of every four-year-old in 
America, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich's agenda to dis- 
continue funding for public television was fueled by reports that 
Barney's producers had no obligation to share their millions in windfall 
profits with the system that made them famous. Congress slashed S V 
million from the CPB budget over two years. By comparison, while our 
government allocated $250 million per year to public broadcasting, 
Canada, with 1/8 our population, allocated $800 milium. 

The impact on public broadcasting — financially and culturally — 
was immense. Consortia and stations throughout the system downsized 
and reorganized to cut overhead. Stations veered sharply toward alter- 
nate revenue sources, becoming increasingly vulnerable to the intlu- 




March 2000 T H E I N E P E N D E N T 29 




Juanita Buschkoetter, Barney, Bill Moyers with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Arthur. 




ence of corporate underwriters — and political pressures — in selecting 
what was considered "fundable" programming. Some stations began 
running 30-second underwriter credits that resemble commercials. 
Former PBS president Efvin Duggan, promising 
"to be a good steward" of funds provided by mem- 
ber stations for programming, proposed a contractu- 
al sleight of hand that holds profound financial 
implications for independent producers and 
may threaten the mandate of noncommercial 
broadcasting. It is called "The Station Equity 
Model." 
Historically, the portion of federal dollars and public donations allo- 
cated to producers for new programming was considered a form of 
"pre-lease funding," a license fee paid in advance so producers could 
deliver noncommercial offerings to public television. Magically, 
Duggan unilaterally redefined these public dollars as PBS's own ven- 
ture capital fund. 

PBS stopped paying to broadcast programming. The money former- 
ly used to pay producers for licensing was now buying PBS an owner- 
ship share in the programs themselves. 

While demanding an exclusive three-year license absolutely free, 
PBS now also took a substantial share of after-broadcast revenues and 
foreign sales (traditionally the resources indie producers use to make 
up their production deficits). PBS began to push hard for product 
licensing, soundtrack CDs, and companion books, opening up PBS 
Video, PBS Records, PBS Books, and PBSOnline (which carries ban- 
ner ads and sold a million dollars worth of products last year) to 
increase new revenue sources. 

PBS takes its cut "off the gross," according to Peter Downey, the 
affable senior vice president of program business affairs. CPB, on the 
other hand, still uses the traditional public broadcasting formula, 
putting up funding in advance to help get programming made, then 
waiting until the producer has recouped the production deficit before 



The tangle of interlaced 

organizations we find behind the 

PBS veil can be confusing, but they 

also provide many doors into the 

public television system. If one door 

is locked, there are many other 

knobs to rattle. 



taking a share of the ancilliary revenues. If CPB contributes 15% of the 
production budget, for instance, it takes 7.5% of net revenues, thereby 
acknowledging the value of the license to air the program which pub- 
lic broadcasting has received from the producer. 

Downey is quick to point out that "everything is negotiable" and 
that "PBS 

wants to see 
producers keep 
at least a 20- 
40% ownership 
share of their 
films." He 

observes that 
most of his 
deals are nego- 
tiated with 
"producing sta- 
tions," such as WNET, WGBH, or KCET rather than indies, and that 
funding issues "are a very large elephant with many parts, viewed dif- 
ferently from every side. "From 1995 to 1999," Downey reports, "we 
increased the PBS programming budget by $40 million from sources 
that are neither federal funding nor from the stations." Entering into 
such business partnerships is the way PBS seeks to finance more pro- 
gramming for its member stations. "We've found a new way to put 
bread on the table," he says proudly. From the indie's side of the ele- 
phant, however, it can appear that PBS is taking that bread straight out 
of the independent producer's mouth. 

Downey defends the quest for revenues: "If PBS has more money for 
programming, producers can benefit." He cites a contract given to 
Peter Grubin for a series on Lincoln. On rare occasions, a series such 
as Attenborough's Birds (already produced by the BBC with no need 
for production funding from PBS) is acquired for a flat license fee, but 
Independent Lens, the PBS Plus showcase for independent films, still 



30 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 





offers no payment to producers and no secure spot on the 
NPS schedule. Donald Thorns, former V-P of program 
management who fought to change that, has given up 
and taken a job with The Discovery Channel. 

Some local stations have adopted their own ver- 
sion of the Station Equity Model, proposing to take 
50% ownership of indie projects for helping filmmakers 
raise money from third party sources. Large stations are reported to 
sometimes ask $25,000 to $40,000 for presenting services. Indies 
should shop around for terms they feel are fair. Many local stations 
often present worthy projects without charge. 



"If PBS won't do it, who will?" 

While The History Channel, Discovery, AekE, Lifetime, Showtime, 
Sundance Channel, and others are paying to license indie pro- 
grams, public TV says its strength is that "we can deliver 
the largest audience." PBS negotiators like to tell indies 
"it's a buyer's market." Some producers who have ana- 
lyzed the numbers warn that it appears producers are 
being asked to pay PBS for the privilege of bringing 
programming to the American public. 




Allocation from Congress: $300 Million <fy 2000) 



5 Million people, 

states, universities & 

Foundations give 

appx. $1.67 billion 

directly to stations 

t 



t 



Administrative Branch: Dept. of Labor/ Energy/ 
Commerce (NTIA)/ Education, i.e. "Ready to Learn" Program 



$300 Million 

CORPORATION for 
PUBLIC BROADCASTING 

5% for CPB overheads (approx. $15 million), 95% for 350 
stations, covering Systems Support ($17.1 million). Operatio: 
Development and Programming: Public Radio is also funded 
from this pool to the tune of $68.25 million. 



♦ 





PUBLIC TV STATIONS 

$150 Million Community Service 

Grants from CPB (includes operational) 



PBS 



t 



NPS-National Programming 

Service: Prime Time & 

Children's Programs 



CPB/ PBS 
JOINT PROGRAM 
CHALLENGE FUND 
$10 Million (50:50) 

Nova, Frontline. American 

Experience and others may secure 

independent projects tor distribution 

under series banners. Some also 

hire Indies lor in-house projects. 



$50 Million for Direct 
Development of Programming 



PBS - NPS Contracts $22.5 Million 



DIRECT TO PRODUCERS $11.6 Million 



INDEPENDENT TELEVISION 
SERVICE/ ITVS — $7.7 Million 



Other distributors such as NETA, 

APT, BBC, CEN, ITVS, PBS Plus , 

self-syndicating producers, Presenting 

Stations etc. also supply programs. 



MINORITY CONSORTIA: $3.2 Million -, 

direct program funds equally divided between: 

National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) 

Nat'l Asian American Telecom. Assn. (NAATA) 

Native American Public Telecom. (NAPT) 

Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC) 

Natl Assoc, of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) 



PBS Station Equity Model 

contract may seek revenue 

participation 



The INDIES QffRE to the 
HBtfic TV MONEtf TR&& 



*n PRODUCERS^ 

i^. Funding for Production -< 

of New Programming with -* 

License to Public Television 



Chart by PATRIC HEDLUND from interviews. PBS 

documents, American Public Television Stations and 

budget data from latest complete CPB data: FY '99-2000. 



March 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 31 




This doesn't worry organizations such as Bloomberg Reports , a finan- 
cial information and services company which gives their daily hour- 
long programs about the stock market to 290 public stations for free. 
Bloomberg is only too glad to enhance their corporate brand name 
with the prestige — and trust — of the system built with the citizens' 
taxes and donations. 

As PBS is increasingly used as a corporate messen- 
ger, veteran filmmakers committed to reporting on 
significant and controversial American stories find 
themselves in the illogical position of trying to sell 
, their projects first in Europe or Asia, so they can 
come to the PBS table with sufficient funding in 
place to retain control of their own programs. "The 
more funding you already have in place, the more likely PBS is to 
acquire a show," confirms PBS negotiator Downey — "particularly if it has- 
n't already been sliced and diced and there are still back-end revenue 



Can public broadcasting still be a place where 

our children can find a balanced path through 

a culture of greed? Can it be a place where we 

are reminded that the human spirit keeps 

bouncing back even without the latest plush 

toy? The answers matter, because whether 

we're dining on food stamp macaroni or caviar, 

this is our nation's last campfire. 



opportunities available." 

This is the language of commercial distributors such as Devillier 
Donegan Enterprises which now has 50-50 deals with PBS in which 
Disney/ABC puts up half the money for series tailored with an eye to 
foreign markets. Lunch table chatter refers to this as "The History of 
Dead White Men and Four-Legged Creatures That Can't Talk" for- 
mula for public programming. The Greeks and The Living Edens are 
examples of picturesque DDE projects. "We seek out nature shows and 
historical topics produced with narration that can be redubbed in dif- 
ferent languages. We can't do projects with a lot of people talking on 
camera," explains a DDE spokesman. The DDE/Disney/PBS programs 
are designed to be "evergreen," with long shelf-life to yield continuing 
revenues. 

KTEH's Danny McGuire is widely admired as a good friend to indie 
producers; he is also pragmatic: "If you can't get funding for an idea, 
scrap it. Go on to something else that people will pay for." He states 
bluntly that "stand-alone documentaries are the hardest thing in the 
world to get distributors to pick up now. We're moving away from 
them, toward things that are easier to sell — like musical performances 
and dramas." 

Producers ask whether Americans really want corporate underwrit- 
ers to be the gatekeepers to public discourse. They suggest that those 
individuals who support local stations with donations do so because 
they believe they are helping to bring independent, noncommercial 




programs to television. "They think their donations are coming to us," 
says independent producer Laffey. "They have no idea . . . ." 

More Bang for the Buck 

Marketing and outreach is a significant 
expense in today's hyperactive media market. 
Promotion for a 10-hour series is not much 
more expensive than promotion for a one- 
hour program. One consequence of the run- 
away need for corporate sponsorship is the 
recognition that stretching subject matter into multi- 
part series leverages the marketing dollar and increases sponsor expo- 
sure. 

The cartel approach to sourcing programming is also taking hold. 
This is illustrated by the notable 30-hours of PBS primetime contract- 
ed from brothers Ken and Ric Burns. The Lesson? Series, series, 
series. Pitch series ... or help your local programming manager 
come up with a fundable series concept that can package your film 
along with a number of others. Large corporate donors are receptive 
to stretching out their moment of glory into long billboards across 
multiple weeks. 

But there's a bright light through the gloom: the law of unex- 
pected consequences occasionally works to benefit independent 
producers. PBS is leading the development of an essentially new 
genre: the independent multi-week serial documentary combined 
with interactive web-based exchange of personal stories from the audience. 
Prime examples: the 6.5-hour visit to America's agricultural 
heartland (Nancy and David Sutherland's The Farmer's Wife) which 
shows the evolution of a family as their romantic ideals about fami- 
ly farming collide with the financial realities of trying to compete 
with today's agribusiness conglomerates, and the 10-hour study of 
the complexity of family relationships and race (Jennifer Fox's An 
American Love Story) are both extraordinary visits into the struggles of 
real American families at the turn of this new century. Now, with the 
addition of the interactive web component, a parent from the urban 
core of Chicago can strike up a dialogue with a family in a remote 
Alaskan fishing village, sharing stories, becoming neighbors, expanding 
understanding of the personal impact of public issues that unite us into 
a larger community. 

This convergence is a powerful new genre which nails the core mis- 
sion of the public broadcasting system: Bringing forth voices and view- 
points you'll never find on commercial television; bringing the public 
into public broadcasting in a personally meaningful way; maintaining a 
public space where insight can shine through the hype. 

Beyond Mindshare 

Back at the annual meeting, hundreds of 
shopping bags filled to overflowing with 
party favors from children's programs are a 
hit at the PBS KIDs brunch. 

PBS has launched a subsidiary PBS KIDS channel, complete with its 
own logo and 24-hour programming for toddlers. "Brand Young, Brand 
Often" is the mantra from the podium. Stations are encouraged to 
open up daytime hours for lucrative childrens' franchises by pushing all 




32 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



their traditional educational programming to pre-dawn hours for VCR 
"block download" by schools. The goodie bags on every table are filled 
with endless samples of bright loot: Teletubbies dolls, KangaRoody 
backpacks, Adventures from the Book of Virtues coloring books, Mr. 
Roger mouse pads, Dragon Tales cuddlies, Wish*A*Roo doodlers. 

"People come to us with hot children's programs," Downey explains. 
"We know their business plan is built on dolls and toys and that the 
program is the bait, but if it meets high educational qualities as well as 
high revenue potential, we'll partner with them. We air 1,800 hours of 
new programming a year. Of those, maybe 30-40 make us money. Most 
of them are kids' shows." 

In the dim light of the ballroom, as speeches continue, my head 
spins with contradictions. Men in expensive suits and women with sig- 
nature jewelry are milling through the shadows, rifling through the 
merchandise, and pilfering Teletubbies and Beany Babies from unclaimed bags. 

Is "Brand Young, Brand Often" and the reach for ever younger 
"mindshare" a reflection or a shaper of our commodity culture? As 
America's media transforms, it take our culture with it. Downey argues 
that the diversity in PBS's funding sources — corporate underwriting, 
entrepreneurial investments, government grants, foundation support, 
state and educational subsidies — safeguards the commitment to diver- 
sity in content, opens it to more and different voices, and maintains a 
place for risk and experimentation. 

But can public broadcasting still be a place where our children can 
find a balanced path through a culture of greed? Can it be a place to 
re-assert the startling power of human caring, where we are reminded 
that the human spirit keeps bouncing back even when we don't have 
the latest plush toy? The answers matter, 
because whether we're dining on food stamp 
macaroni or caviar, this is our nation's last 
campfire, a civil place for meeting one anoth- 
er, where the precious commodity of trust is 
returned to public values. 

Suddenly Levar Burton of Reading 
Rainbow steps to the podium to speak my own 
thoughts: "We have earned and maintained the public trust. It's worth 
remembering who we are and what brought us together. The share- 
holders that matter are the families and communities we serve. Our 
mission is to stir the imagination and encourage the soul. This is still 
the best gig around." 

The sun is setting across the open land, the colored sky is glorious. 
We hear the voice of the farmer's wife, Juanita Buschkoetter, speaking 
gently into the dusk: "It would be such a loss, not to be able to do what 
you love doing, just putting in time on a job you don't care about, as if 
you were in jail ... ." 

Indies know how she feels. We love making films. We love opening 
a window into the struggles, fear, and triumphs that are our American 
heritage. Independents give voice to the energizing diversity and dia- 
logue that public television was founded to serve. Better formulas for 
partnership with independents are required to acknowledge that fact. 
Respect for independent producers shows respect for the public that 
supports noncommercial programming. The challenge to public broadcast- 
ing is a worthy one. 

Patric Hedlund is author of The Independent Producer's PBS Survival 

Guide (available at www.forests.com). Her prize-winning investigative 

reports and productions have aired internationally. She is currently working 

on a book about the future of human imagination]. 





"A PROJECT OF 
THIS NATURE" 

Sheila Laffey and Todd Brunelle's Last Stand: The Struggle for the 
Ballona Wetlands is an eco-doc narrated by Ed Asner about Playa 
Vista, a $4 billion project to be built on some of the last remaining wet- 
land marshes in southern California. SKG Dreamworks (the Steven 
Spielberg-Jeffrey Katzenberg-David Geffen partnership) was to be the 
anchor tenant. The developers had the support of the mayor and over 
$110 million in tax breaks. As a company town dependent on the 
entertainment industry, there was little incentive for the L.A. press to 
publicly cross three of the area's most powerful moguls. 

In 1996 the local public TV station KCET declined Laffey's invitation 
to help tell this story: "As compelling as this subject is . . .," they wrote, 
"experience demonstrates the difficulty in raising funds to produce a 
project of this nature 

Laffey persevered, financing the film with credit cards and small 
donations, with the International Documentary Association as fiscal 
sponsor. In January 1999 the film was premiered in L.A. to overflow 
crowds. KTEH in San Jose, 400 miles away, presented the film for 
broadcast. On April 20 it was aired by KCET in Los Angeles and viewed 
by 80,000 people, triggering an explosion of debate in the L.A. press. 

On July 1, Dreamworks withdrew from the Ballona Wetlands Playa 
Vista project. Now the Project AWARE Foundation and others are send- 
ing grants to update the film and secure a national airing, currently 
scheduled around Earth Day in April. Laffey is still $8,000 in debt, and 
has not taken any salary for the four years she's invested in making the film. 



March AW THE INDEPENDENT 33 











A guide to the language of pubcasters. 

APT: American Public Television (formerly APS — American Program 
Service until 1999). Now public television's second largest national pro- 
gram acquisition and distribution system. Acquires, sells, and distributes 
"how-to" programs, British imports, topical news series, and entertain- 
ment to public stations nationwide, www.aptvs.org 

CEN: The Central Educational Network. Program acquisition and distrib- 
ution; operates the program distributor CPM (Continental Program 
Marketing) and runs the American Children's Television Festival. 
www2.tcom.ohiou.edu/hetc/cen.html 

COMMON CARRIAGE: Programming that is aired at the same time by 
nearly all PBS affiliates to coincide with national publicity in publications 
such as TV Guide, Time, etc. 

CPB: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting was authorized by 
Congress in 1967 to develop noncommercial TV and radio. It funds pro- 
gram production through allocations to producers and PBS. It funds pub- 
lic television and radio stations with Community Service Grants (CSG). A 
nonprofit corporation to protect the use of public airwaves in the public 
interest while attempting to insulate public broadcasters from undue 
interference by politicians, but in FY 98 and 99 Congress slashed CPB's 
budget by $50 million in a political effort to defund it. www.cpb.org 

DDE: Devillier Donegan Enterprises, a distribution company formed by 
two former NET employees, who now co-finance productions with PBS 
using resources from Disney-ABC, selling also to the European market. 

GPN: The Great Plains National Instructional Television Library started 
primarily as a distributor. Now developing and producing programs, 
including Reading Rainbow, which it co-produces with WNED-TV, Buffalo, 
NY. GPN is known as an instructional TV "supermarket" operated by 
Nebraska Educational Television/KUON-TV. gpn@unlinfo.unl.edu 

HOOPS: What PTV staffers say they'll help you jump through if you let 
them be your presenting station. The hoops are fully defined in The Red 
Book, available on www.pbs.org/independents, with info on deliverables, 
technical specs, product offers, and underwriter notices. 

ITVS: The Independent Television Service. Funds production and finds 
distribution for independent film- and videomakers on public television. 
Founded 1988 by congressional directive to CPB after intensive lobbying 
by independents (including AIVF). "Committed to increasing public TV's 
diversity, innovation, and programming for underserved audiences." 
Office in San Francisco. www.itvs.org/ITVS 

LARK: Lark International, a program development collaboration among 
public TV stations, founded in 1992 by WTVS-Detroit and KCTS-Seattle 
and expanded in 1996 to include KUHT-Houston and KETC-St. Louis. 
Develops international projects in financing, developing, and distributing 
video and film projects for all media, www.kcts.org/inside/lark.htm 

LlnCS: Production partnerships between public TV stations and indepen- 
dent producers, who can qualify for matching production grants of up to 
$65,000 from ITVS. Deadline: April 28. www.itvs.org 



N EA: The National Endowment for the Arts. Supports American arts and 
artists; a federal source for independent production funding, adminis- 
tered by nonprofit organizations, www.arts.endow.gov 

N EH: The National Endowment for the Humanities. Supports research, 
education, and public activity in the humanities; a federal source for 
independent production funding, administered by nonprofit organizations. 
www.neh.fed.us 

NETA: The National Educational Telecommunications Association 
replaced Southern Educational Communications Association (SECA) in 
1997. Independents can go to NETA for distribution. Provides program 
acquisition and distribution to member stations and educational institu- 
tions nationally, www.netaonline.org/ 

NPS: National Program Service. Primetime & children's programming 
provided by PBS to member stations, which pay a fee based on market size. 

PBS: The Public Broadcasting Service distributes public TV programming 
nationally through five separate services: NPS (National Program 
Service), SIP (Station Independence Program, for pledge drive specials), 
ALS (Adult Learning Service, for college telecourses), PBS Select (individ- 
ually syndicated programs), and PBS Plus (fully underwritten programs). 
PBS also manages the public TV satellite interconnection system used by 
most other distributors of programming to public TV stations and has 
divisions for PBS Video (videocassettes for schools and colleges), PBS 
Home Video (in collaboration with Turner Home Entertainment), PBS 
Records, and PBS Online, www.pbs.org 

PBS Express: The public TV stations' private Internet messaging sys- 
tem. Independents contract with a presenting agency to notify member 
stations about time and date of satellite feeds and to promote the produc- 
tion internally to progammers using PBS Express. Promotional packet 
materials and photographs are also available online for publicity and 
press outreach. 

PRG: The Program Resources Group. Program service run by 14 PTV sta- 
tions in "overlap markets" (broadcast areas — such as Long Island and 
San Jose — that overlap with those of larger public stations ). PRG buys 
syndicated and imported shows to provide these stations with exclusive, 
unique programming. New York City: (212) 974-3901 

PTV: Public television, the noncommercial "public interest" stations and 
program distribution organizations that support them. 

SIP: The Station Independence Program acquires special pledge-drive 
programs (cuddly animals and musical performances are preferred). A 
PBS-administered station cooperative that also develops advertising and 
promotional material, market research, and premium information to help 
stations get the most from on-air fundraising drives. PBS, 1320 Braddock 
Place, Alexandria, VA 22314 

10x60: Ten 60:00 programs that form a series, which PBS finds appeal- 
ing because advertising expenses are not much more than for a one-hour 
show, but offer significantly more exposure, netting the "best bang for the 
buck" award from underwriters. 

— Patric Hedlund 



34, THE I N D E P EN D E N T March 200C 





At MIPCOM, the author 
pitched Ice Girls, about 
tour young figure skaters 
aiming for the Olympics, 
and learned that the news 
for one-off producers is 
both good and bad. 



f f X ZJ f* I k w* I I r Z4 * k f* J ft CJ 
I /r j rw I I § 1 1 ZJ f tPe t f'f l]§ i ZJ^* f J r t 



"J; 



*o 



J J J\J J Jj 



jj^-Ij 



' T 



by Trish Dolman 



I 



N A JET-LAG HANGOVER, I STARE HEAVY-LIDDED AT THE LUGGAGE CON- 
veyor belt as my bag lands with a thunk on the black rubber. "Well, 
that's a good sign," comments a fellow MIPCOM attendee. Roused, I 
look around the baggage claim area in the Nice airport and notice all 
the cellular phones, the briefcases bulging with one-sheets and video 
clips. Everyone, it seems, is here to attend MIPCOM. 

Each year over 22,000 buyers and sellers of television programming 
descend on the small seaside French ville of Cannes. More famous for 
its film festival, Cannes is also home to two annual television markets, 
MIPTV in the spring and MIPCOM in the fall. MIPCOM takes place 
in the Palais, a giant convention building flanked by palm trees and 
filled with row after row of stands, each displaying television product 
propaganda. 

I've heard stories about MIP — that it is "wild," that it is "the Turkish 
bazaar of television." But most of all, that it is a must-attend venue for 
television producers seeking financing and distribution from the inter- 
national market. 

As an independent documentary filmmaker and producer, I'm for- 
tunate in that I'm here on a fellowship provided by several Canadian 
government film agencies. My only responsibility is to pitch my own 
projects, one of which is a coproduction with the BBC and Canadian 
broadcaster CTV. 

The downside of my situation is that as an independent I've got a 
bigger challenge than most of my conference peers. Unlike the major- 
ity of sellers, I'm not here with a number of series or a large portfolio 
(if product. Rather, I'm one individual trying to develop some one-offs 
and one limited series. 



Nonetheless, I'm optimistic. My 
mission is to meet people, to further 
existing relationships, to find inter- 
national partners, and above all, to 



If MIPCOM and its rows and 
rows of stands, and thousands o. 
faces hawking their wares are any 
indication, the distributor is right 
when he states, "There are more 
programs out there than could 
ever be broadcast." 



get some 
money for 
projects. 
Having 
prepared 
ahead, I 



have sev- 
eral appointments set up throughout the week. A graphic designer has 
whipped up a brochure outlining my projects, 1 have hundreds ot busi- 
ness cards, my pitches are ready. I feel prepared. 

But I also know that one-offs swing in and out of favor. At the very 
least, I figure, this experience will provide a barometer oi the interest 
in stand-alone documentaries among international buyers, and perhaps 
give me some clues about what kind ot films are currently in demand. 



a 



F N THE SURFACE, THE ENVIRONMENT FOR IXX'S MINIS POSITIVE. Tl It 
last 10 years have brought about big changes to the television market 
and particularly to documentaries. The proliferation ol television Sta 



March 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 35 



tions has meant a huge increase in demand for pro- 
gramming. According to Variety, documentary now 
represents 50% of all new program introductions 
into the marketplace. The infiltration of cable, dig- 
ital, and satellite into Europe has created a whole 
new market. 

In a small, family-run Italian restaurant near the 
Palais, I chat about the growing European market 
with Richard Propper from Solid Entertainment, an 
LA-based distributor that represents 90 hours solely 
of documentary programming. Propper tells me that 
"80% of all international sales occur in the 
European market." It seems that I am in the right 
place at the right time. 

However, Propper also notes that broadcasters 
tend to favor a certain kind of documentary — those 
co-produced with other broadcasters. This is what's 
represented by the bulk of those impressive num- 
bers. Broadcaster co-producers generally offer "a 
guiding hand to make improvements," says Propper, 
which results in "stronger editorial content" and a 
proper broadcastable length. In other words, the 
involvement of a broadcaster makes for a film that 
is easier for other broadcasters to buy. 
"Independent" documentaries are harder to sell 
because the filmmaker has made the film with their 
own funding and the result "has one voice — that of 
the director." Propper concludes, "There are docu- 
mentaries of passion, and then those that sell." 

This is an argument I've heard many times 
before, ever since I started making documentaries. 
On the plane to France, I thought about the first 
time I pitched a documentary idea to a broadcaster. 
While I reeled off the concept, he distractedly rifled 
through papers on his desk, until finally, heaving a 
sigh, he looked up and asked, "Trish, what have you 
done that I would have seen?" As I sputtered a 
response, he clarified, "On national television, I 
mean." 

At the time, I was trying to make a documentary 
about four Costa Rican women who ran a feminist radio station. The 
film was to document their journey to the 1994 UN Conference on 
Women in Beijing. But feminism was a hard sell. In addition, there was 
no Canadian content (a requirement for most Canadian broadcast- 
ers), and I was inexperienced. Alas, the film never got made. But it 
spurred me on to figure out what ideas would work for television and 
which of those ideas I liked. 

Six years later, having produced several projects for the Discovery 
Channel, CBC, and Vision TV, I am now in production on two docu- 
mentaries and have several others in development. The largest, a fea- 
ture-length doc called Ice Girls, is a treaty co-production with the BBC 
and CTV It's a Hoop Dreams-styled film about four girls who are pur- 
suing their dream of becoming Olympic-level figure skaters. Ironically, 
in some ways it's similar to my original idea — four women on a mission 
to go somewhere and accomplish something. 

During the five years I've tried to get my ideas to work in the broad- 
cast market, I've had the opportunity to contemplate the fate and 




Among the independently produced one-offs that Solid Entertainment has successfully sold 
to foreign broadcasters are (clockwise from top left): Richard Frank's Maestro Mehli 
Mehta; Craig McCourry's Empires of Steam, on steam engines in India and China and the 
legacy of colonialism; and Memories Do Not Burn by Paul Dokuchitz — proving that it is 
still possible to find buyers for the stand-alone documentary. 



future of the one-off documentary. As government resources continue 
to dwindle (yes, even here in Canada), I've noticed that independents 
have been forced to come up with creative ways of financing their 
films. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it seems to dictate one of 
two fates: make the film you want to make, no matter what, using arts 
grants, deferrals, unpaid labor, and your own sweat and blood. The out- 
come of this route is sometimes met with critical acclaim, but often at 
the cost of relationships, bank accounts, and credit ratings. The second 
route involves getting broadcasters on board as co-producers in order 
to obtain advances or pre-licenses, adding distribution guarantees, 
then completing the package with grants, deferrals, sweat, etc. The 
outcome of this path, in theory, is easier on your credit rating, garners 
a larger international audiences, and may even result in some realized 
profit. 

This is the route that Propper recommends. And it's the one I'm 
prepared to take at MIPCOM. The slate of projects I am toting here is 
a combination of both passion and marketability. Ice Girb stems from 



36 THE. INDEPENDENT March 2000 



my interest in the experience of girls in sport and taps into a huge fig- 
ure-skating audience. Another project, Britannia, is a one-hour docu- 
mentary about a small Twin Peaks-like mining town that is faced with 
a huge pollution problem. The film has a lot of heart, but it is harder 
for the international market to swallow because it screams of regional- 
ism on first glance. 

But I run up against another barrier here. As I pitch Ice Girls to 
prospective distributors, I am told repeatedly that its 90-minute length 
will not sell. The international market is fixated on a broadcast one- 
hour (actually, 50-minute) length. Undeterred, I believe that if the film 
is sold properly, it will air as a special around the Olympics. Both the 
BBC and CTV believe in this, so I continue to seek others who will. 

At a meeting later in the week, I ask Jan Rofekamp, a sales agent 
whose Montreal-based boutique company Films Transit carries many 
award-winning titles, about his thoughts on the documentary market. 
"It is really becoming clear now, even though documentary is becom- 
ing a bit of an industry, there is really an A market and a B market," he 
says. The A' market represents "the old clients, the primetime public 
channels who are being stimulated now by new channels that have 
shown that if you put documentaries in primetime, and if they are pro- 
moted properly, they will get audiences." This A market buys "really 
good, really strong one-offs." 

The B Market is represented by the new cable, satellite, and spe- 
cialty channels that are "hungry for documentary programming," 
Rofekamp says, but more along the vein of "factual entertainment, 
series about dangerous weather, or the best train rides in the world." 
He continues, "Ten years ago, only the A' market existed." Now the 'B' 
is a place to re-sell or sell second windows. 

The down side for producers and filmmakers is that these two mar- 
kets have become 'volume' markets. In other words, the market 
demand has been for series and blocks of programming. Producers have 
risen to the challenge, but this has resulted in a glut of documentary 
and factually-based programming. If MIPCOM and its rows and rows 
of stands, and thousands of faces hawking their wares are any indica- 
tion, Propper is right when he states, "There are more programs out 
there than could ever be broadcast." 

The impact of this program glut is that license fees have come 
down. A distributor will now have to sell seven or eight territories in 
order to make a decent profit. My experience tells me that the only 
way out of this market saturation is to create less programming that 
works in more territories. "MIP Docs" (multi-broadcaster, internation- 
al, pre -licensed documentaries) have been on the rise in that last few 
years. Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows, a documentary that has 
made a huge splash at festivals and on television, is a classic example. 
A&E, BBC, Arte, and TV Ontario from Canada partnered together to 
create a high-impact, character driven, feature-length documentary 
about WWF wrestler Brett Hart. The result is a compelling, well-craft- 
ed tale that peers behind the bravado and the act that is wrestling. It 
is also a project that has made the broadcasters happy. "It was a dream 
project," claims commissioning editor Rudy Buttignol from TV 
Ontario, "because it was a great subject that came together with the 
right partners." 



Television festival. As we sip champagne on the terrace of the Carlton 
overlooking an incredible sunset on the Mediterranean, we tackle 
some final issues facing our co-production agreement. 

The BBC is definitely part of the A' list. Hamann's department com- 
missions nearly 200 hours of high- end documentary programming per 
year. I am surprised and delighted about his thoughts on the future. "1 
see us making more long-form documentaries on issues that effect most 
people regardless of background or class: the plight of the old, the 
young, and the disadvantaged. We will clearly see less of the docusoap 
genre and perhaps fewer documentaries, but there will be more high 
profile singles sold as events." This seems contrary to what the current 
market wants — an international, 50-minute doc — and it is probably 
the reason why I am doing my film for the BBC, which is happy with a 
90-minute documentary. Perhaps the future is more positive than I 
thought. 

On the other end of the spectrum, Hamann also sees an increase in 
docs "that are shot at low-cost on DV, that are more subjective, more 
experimental, that will run well late at night. Clearly, the future is the 
continued demise of celluloid and the continued rise of DV." 
Undoubtedly, technology is shaping the future of the documentary. 
Though I mourn the end of film, I also see that digital video has been 
the answer to reduced budgets and increased demand. Perhaps it is also 
a way to incorporate independent film into the broadcast market. "The 
emergence of digital video technology," Hamann says, "means that 
there will be more authorship and intellectual ownership because one 
person can do it all. It's terribly exciting. We've created a climate here 
where we can get away with more subjectivity." 

Richard Propper believes that one-offs will continue as they are; 
however, "we will see a lot more 'new investigative documentaries' 
where technology has allowed the filmmaker to get into more tight and 
interesting places." Dan Wetherbee's The Real Stuff is an example of 
this. Shot with a 1 lb. Mini DV camera, the film is about astronauts 
who train to fly on the space shuttle. Without such small technology, 
the film would not have been able to get into the cramped quarters of 
space travel. Not only does technology allow us to go where no film- 
maker has gone before, but perhaps it will give us the editorial control 
and intimacy of an independent documentary. 



o, 



M 



.Y SECOND TO LAST DAY IN CANNES, I FINALLY TRACK DOWN PAUL 
Hamann, Head of Documentaries and History at the BBC. A year and 
a half ago, I had pitched him the idea for Ice Girls at the Banff 



r N MY LAST EXHAUSTING DAY AT MIPCOM, I HAVE PROBABLY THE 
best meetings and pitches of my entire trip. I receive nothing but pos- 
itive feedback on my projects. Ironically, several thousand miles from 
home, I meet with a reputable Canadian distributor who ends up prac- 
tically rolling on the ground with laughter when I tell him about the 
wacky characters in the small mining town of Britannia. He is also 
excited about Ice Girls and makes no mention of the length. Happily, 
he thinks both films are sellable to the international market. I also find 
a possible German co-producer for other projects I am developing. I 
realize, for the umpteenth time, that the challenge for producers and 
filmmakers is finding the right homes for our projects, the right part- 
ners. I may have to travel the world, but I've managed to find bro id 
casters who share a passion for my ideas and see their potential to reach 
an audience. 

In some ways, it's like entrusting your luggage with an airline. 
Ultimately the delivery is in someone else's hands. 1 found out later in 
the week that 18 of the other people in my group lost their luggage and 
had to wear the same clothes tor three days. 1 consider myself Lucky. 

Irish Dolman is an independent producer and director based in Vancouver: 



March 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 37 



F.A.Q. 



www.aivf.org 



-™a. 



i3£if±^ 



CALIFORNIA 



California Newsreel, 149 Ninth St., #420, San 
Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 621-6196; fax: 621- 
6255; contact@newsreel.org; www.newsreel.org; 
Contact: Lawrence Daressa, Director of Acquisitions 




What is California Newsreel? 

Along with Third World Newsreel, we are the oldest non- 
profit media distributor in the United States. 

Who is Newsreel? 

Our principal directors are Lawrence Adelman, 
Lawrence Daressa, and Cornelius Moore. We've just 
added Tina Bachemin from PBS in San Francisco as 
Promotions Director. Steve Guy is our Administrative 
Director. 

Total number of employees: 

Six. 

How, when, and why did Newsreel come into being? 

It was founded in 1968 to provide an alternative source 
of information on the anti-war movement and other 
social change movements of the day. 

Unofficial motto or driving philosophy behind 
Newsreel: 

Focus! It's better to do a few things well than many 
things poorly. 

What would people be most surprised to learn 
about Newsreel or its founders and/or key staff? 

Our longevity. Larry Daressa has been at Newsreel for 
26 years, Larry Adelman for 24 years, and Cornelius for 
19. That's a total of 69 years together. 



How many works are in your collection? 

Over 100. 

Films and filmmakers you distribute: 

Among them are Ethnic Notions, Black Is . . . Black 
Ain't, and Color Adjustment by Marlon Riggs; A 
Question of Color by Kathe Sandler; The Black Press by 
Stanley Nelson; Frantz Fanom Black Skin, White Mask 
by Isaac Juliem Aime Cesaire-. A Voice for History by 
Euzhan Palcy; Lumumba: La mod du prophete by 
Raoul Peck; Africa, je te plumerai, Clando, and Chief! 
by Jean-Marie Teno; Finzan, Guimba, and La Genese 
by Cheick Oumar Sissoko; Hyenas, Le Franc, and La 
Petite Vendeuse de Soleil by Djibril Diop Mambety. 

What types of works do you distribute? 

We're currently focusing on African American life and 
history, African cinema, race and diversity, and media 
and society. 



What drives you to acquire the titles you do? 

We're very selective. Our first consideration is to ask if 
the title contributes significantly to the discourse 
around our targeted thematics. A secondary considera- 
tion is whether or not it has a broad enough interest to 
repay the amount of money and effort we insist on 
putting into the promotion of every title we acquire. 

How is your collection organized? 

Thematically. 

Is there such a thing as a "Newsreel" title? 

It's a film with ideas, a film with a strong point of view 
with serious intellectual content and theoretical 
grounding. 

Best known title in Newsreel's collection: 

Ethnic Notions by Marlon Riggs. 

What's your basic approach to releasing a title? 

To reach the potential market for a title as thoroughly 
and frequently as possible. 



38 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



Where do Newsreel titles generally show? 

They show at colleges, high schools, public libraries, 
media arts centers, community forums, exhibits, pan- 
els, conferences, and also in corporate diversity training. 

How do educators and community members find out 
about the titles you handle? 

Through direct mail, exhibitions, and screenings at con- 
ferences, reviews, and of course, via the web. 




Do you develop study guides to accompany your 
titles or is this something the makers are doing on 
their own? 

Right now it's a little of both, but it's best if the film- 
maker comes up with it. 

Where do you find your titles and how should film- 
makers approach you for consideration? 

Contact us. If it sounds like a fit, we'll ask to see a pre- 
view copy. We also keep abreast of what's been funded 
and submitted for funding. 

The role of an educational distributor in society is 
to... 

promote materials that would not be supplied by the 
commercial sector. The efficacy of any educational or 
social change-oriented film must ultimately be mea- 
sured by the impact it has on the subject and the dis- 
cussion it generates. 



Biggest change at Newsreel in recent 
years: 

The development of a web site which 
promotes the films and acts as a resource. 

Most important issue facing Newsreel 
today: 

Finding new and good titles. From our 
vantage point as distributor, we see not 
only what films exist but also which are 
missing. A lot of films come to us in 
search of a use. 

Where will Newsreel be 10 years from 
now? 

Unfortunately, we're not tapped into the 
psychic network, but the future of most 
distribution depends on the nature of 
technology. 

You knew Newsreel had made it as a 
company when . . . 

we got mentioned in the New York Times. 

The biggest issue facing social issue mediamaking 
and distribution is . . . 

There is a great necessity to look at what constituents 
and communities need before making a film. Rather 
than producing a documentary and then finding an 
audience to distribute it to, filmmakers should make 
audience needs central from the beginning. 

If you weren't distributing films, what would you be 
doing? 

If we weren't distributing films, we wouldn't be 
California Newsreel. 

What distinguishes you from other distributors? 

Rather than carry the broadest possible selection of 
titles, like video supermarkets such as PBS Video, we 
have concentrated on a small number of thematic 
areas, usually corresponding to a growing social move- 
ment or emerging scholarly discourse. This focused dis- 
tribution has been successful because it allows us to 
segment our markets, give our collection thematic 
coherence and visibility, and concentrate on just a few 
titles at a time. Perhaps even more importantly, it has 
enabled us to gain an intimate familiarity with each of 
our chosen areas of concentration. We participate reg- 
ularly, not just as vendors but as colleagues in the reg- 
ular professional life of the field, presenting at confer- 
ences, writing for their journals, and joining in their 
organizational life. 

Because we focus our distribution resources, 
Newsreel is one of the few distributors who still, as a 
matter of principle, offer every producer an advance 
against royalties as part of virtually every distribution 
agreement. We often will sign films well before comple- 
tion, so these royalty advances can actually help fund a 
film's postproduction. Advances can range from as lit- 
tle as $5,000 to as much as $30,000 and are estimat- 




ed to approximate the title's first two years' anticipated 
royalties. 

If you could only give independent filmmakers one 
bit of advice it would be. . . 

to do a needs assessment. Filmmakers submit videos 
to us continuously. But an inordinate number of them 
(including some immaculately produced ones with 
munificent budgets) evince little understanding of their 
supposed audiences' needs or how they might be used. 
Too many documentaries are of only anecdotal interest. 
Too many more seem more designed simply for a 
screening at Sundance rather than for any educational 
or organizing purposes. 

Upcoming titles to watch for: 

One of our new releases, La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil. 
opens April 26th at the Film Forum in New York City. It's 
the last film by the late Senegalese master director 
Djibril Diop Mambety. Also, we will be releasing later 
this year Faat Kine by Ousmane Sembene. the father of 
African cinema. 

The future of educational media distribution in this 
country is one which . . . 

will be heavily impacted by interactive, multimedia 
technologies. 

Famous last words: 

Pre-payment required. 

Distributor FAQ profiles a wide range of distributors of 
independent film and video. Send profile suggestions to 
Lissa Gibbs, c/o The Independent, 304 Hudson St.. 6 fl.. 
New York, NY 10013; or email lissag@earthlink.net 

Lissa Gibbs is a contributing editor to The Independent and 
former Film Arts Foundation Fest director. 



March -WY THE INDEPENDENT 39 




The Funding Exchange/Paul Robeson Fund for 
Independent Media, 666 Broadway, Room 500, New 
York, New York 10012; (212) 529-5300; fax: (212) 
982-9272; www.fex.org. Contact for Paul Robeson 
Fund: Viviana Bianchi, Project Director. Contacts for the 
Funding Exchange: Sandra M. Laureano, Grants 
Program Director; Angela Moreno, Program Officer; 
Eleanor Maunsell, Grants Department Assistant. 

What is the Funding Exchange? 

The Funding Exchange (FEX) is a network of 15 progres- 
sive community foundations located across the country 
and a national office located in New York City with its 
own grant-making programs. 

When and why did it come into being? 

The Funding Exchange is a partnership of activists and 
donors that began in the 1970s when small groups of 
donors and community organizers banded together in 
Boston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco to find new 
ways to support social movements. They coined the 
phrase "change, not charity," because they believed in 
the importance of tackling the root causes of poverty 
and injustice. Most of the founding donors had inherit- 
ed wealth, which provided the seed money to launch 
nearly all the community foundations in the network. 

What distinguishes you from the more traditional 
foundations? How does the Funding Exchange facil- 
itate "a national movement for economic justice"? 

One of our most distinguishing features is our commit- 
ment to community control of grant-making To ensure 
grassroots participation, the national office established 
three activist-advised funds: the OUT Fund for Lesbian 
and Gay Liberation, the Saguaro Fund, and the Paul 
Robeson Fund for Independent Media. Each has a small 



grant-making board made up of activists who review 
relevant proposals once a year and propose where the 
grant monies should be allocated. 

Because the Funding Exchange supports programs 
that foster long-term structural or political change — as 
opposed to direct service programs that lack an orga- 
nizing or deep-rooted social change component — we 
tend to fund projects that other foundations may per- 
ceive as too controversial, too political, too experimen- 
tal or too new. Because community representatives are 
involved in decision-making, we attract a particularly 
thoughtful and dedicate cadre of donors who appreciate 
the significance of redistributing power as well as money. 

The Funding Exchange has 15 member foundations, 
all supporting grassroots organizing for social and 
economic change. Do they function independently? 

The 15 member funds have their own grant-making 
programs and priorities, which are local or regional in 
scope. They are autonomous, with their own offices, 
boards, and guidelines. They share the endowment fund 
and do additional fund-raising independently, with bud- 
gets varying considerably, and grant-making from 
approximately $200,000 up to over a $1M a year. 

Do they fund media? 

Some support media to a limited extent. They should be 
contacted separately to find out their priorities. [Links to 
all member foundations can be found at www.fex.org.] 
The primary support for film, video, and radio produc- 
tion within the Funding Exchange network is through the 
Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media. 

Can individuals apply for the Funding Exchange 
grants or are they limited to organizations? 

Only the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media 
accepts applications from independent media produc- 
ers. Otherwise, individuals are not eligible to receive 
grants from the Funding Exchange. 



What is the Paul Robeson Fund for Independent 
Media's relation to the Funding Exchange? When 
and why was it established? 

The Paul Robeson Fund is one of the three activist- 
advised funds of the Funding Exchange. It was estab- 
lished in 1987, after the demise of the Film Fund, when 
the Funding Exchange felt the need to consolidate its 
funding of social-issue media. The fund was named to 
honor the singer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson. 
The FEX national office raises funds for the Robeson 
Fund from individual donors and institutions such as 
the New York State Council on the Arts and the Bohem 
Foundation. The monies raised are used by the fund for 
grant-making. 




The driving philosophy behind the Paul Robeson 
Fund is . . . 

to support the production of progressive independent 
media (radio, film, and video) that can be used as a 
tool for organizing communities against social and eco- 
nomic injustice. 

How has the funding climate for independent media 
changed since the Robeson Fund's inception? 

The climate has changed in diverse and significant 



o p i 



40 THEINDEPENDENT March 2000 



ways since 1987. The so-called right-wing "cultural 
war" of the eighties and early nineties succeeded in 
reducing public funding for art, culture, and media in 
general. The relentless attack on so-called "controver- 
sial" themes also contributed to a reduction of outlets 
and productions with progressive and independent 
viewpoints. 

The new corporate media configuration characteris- 
tic of the late nineties is posing new challenges to flin- 
ders and mediamakers alike. In the global corporate 
world, the need for progressive mediamaking and alter- 
native distribution channels has become essential in 
building the progressive movement. In the face of grow- 
ing funding demands and as public funding for inde- 
pendent media and the arts in general continues to 



tives aims at encouraging mediamakers to find alterna- 
tive distribution models that would further the use of 
media as a tool for social change organizing. 

The Funding Exchange projects itself as a "philan- 
thropist for the cutting edge." What types of pro- 
jects does the fund seek? 

We solicit projects of all genres that address critical 
social and political issues; that will reach a broad audi- 
ence; that include a progressive political analysis com- 
bining intellectual clarity with creative use of the medi- 
um; and that demonstrate an understanding of how the 
production will be used for social change organizing. We 
prioritize projects that give voice to marginalized com- 
munities and to those traditionally excluded from main- 
stream media, such as people of color, persons 
with disabilities, gays, lesbians, and transgen- 
der and bisexual persons. 

Name some of the best known titles and/or 
artists Robeson has funded. What have 




shrink, foundations concerned with supporting 
media have been compelled to make strategic decisions 
regarding their grant-making priorities. 

For example, the Robeson Fund found it more strate- 
gic to support only the pre-production and distribution 
stages of a film or video project. Support for pre-pro- 
duction provides the seed money for alternative or con- 
troversial projects to get off the ground while serving as 
leverage to procure other sources of support. 
Additionally, support of grassroots distribution initia- 



been some of the distribution/exhibition paths of 
these projects? 

FEX was one of the first foundations to provide support 
for social-issue films, such as the acclaimed Harlan 
County USA, Tongues Untied, and Panama Deception. 
Most recently, the Paul Robeson Fund has supported 
projects such as The Uprising of 34, A Healthy Baby 
Girl, Golden Threads, Another Brother, The Double Life 
of Ernesto Gomez Gomez, and Blood Lines. 

All of the films mentioned have been aired on PO.V. 



and have an extensive record of festival showings and 
prize awards. For the Paul Robeson Fund, the most 
important aspect of both their production and distribu- 
tion history is that these projects have all been made in 
collaboration with grassroots organizations, and that 
they all incorporate innovative distribution initiatives to 
further the work of progressive organizations. For 
example, one of the funded projects' distribution strat- 
egy included a classroom-based study plan to connect 
its content with the school's lessons in media literacy, 
critical thinking, and oral history. Another project was 
shown during fundraisers and activist meetings, and in 
conjunction with letter-writing campaigns and petition 
drives for a grassroots organization. 

What percentage of the Robeson Fund's overall 
budget goes towards film or video projects? 

Around 75% of our grant-making monies goes to film 
and video projects. The remaining 25% goes to radio. 

How many media awards are given out per year? 

We award grants to approximately 24 to 30 film and 
video projects. The Paul Robeson Fund's annual grant- 
making budget averages $200,000. 



What is the average size of a grant? 

Grants usually range between $3,000 and 
maximum grant amount is $15,000. 



The 



What's the ratio of applicants to recipients? 

The Robeson Fund is quite competitive. In 1998 we 
awarded 31 film and video grants out of 130 proposals 
received (approximately one out of four applicants 
received a grant). 

Are there restrictions on applicants' qualifications? 

The Robeson Fund does not fund film, video, and audio 
installations; festivals, conferences or special events; 
organizational projects for internal or promotional use; 
sociological or anthropological explorations that do not 
provide a strong political analysis; documentation of 
cultural events, personalities, or performances with lit- 
tle or no political relevance; general operating expenses 
of distribution companies; script development for dra- 
matic features or radio dramas; student productions or 
other projects associated with a degree program; and 
productions originating in countries outside the U.S.. 
unless the distribution strategy incorporates (in part) 
organizing in the United States. 

You've stated Robeson funds projects in preproduc- 
tion and distribution phases. Can a preproduction 
grantee apply for a distribution grant? 
Applicants may submit only one project for considera- 
tion and may not be listed as producers or directors of 
any other project submitted to the fund during a given 
funding cycle. Film and video preproduction grantees 
may indeed apply for a distribution grant for the previ- 
ously funded project during a future funding cycle. 

Explain your funding cycle and deadlines. 

The application deadline is May 15. Proposals are 



Maaii 2000 THE INDEPENDENT II 



tiT r • ■• • 1 



(Tnema^RTS 
(entre 

presents 

The 4th Annual 

Huntington 

International 

Film Festival 

(Summer 2000) 
& 

Long Island Latino 
Film Festival 

(Spring 2000) 

Seeking fiction & documentary features from around 
the world and short films from Long Island & NY 
Metro Region for the festivals. Exhibition formats 
include 35mm, 16mm, video (NTSC format). 

Call 516.423.7610 

Email CinArtsCtr@aol.com 

Fax 516.423.5411 

Mail Cinema Arts Centre 

423 Park Ave. (P.O. Box 498) 
Huntington, NY 11743 
Attn: Festival Coordinator 



CS ASSOCIATES 

22 Weston Road 

Lincoln, MA 01773 

tel: (781) 259-9988 

fax: (781) 259-9966 





DISTRIBUTION 

PRE-SALES 

CO-PRODUCTION 



Distributing outstanding 
documentaries, restored 
classic films, childreti's 
and instructional 
programs for worldwide 
broadcast since 1980. 



X 






Send VHS submissions to Lisa Carey, 
Director of Acquisitions 



accepted beginning one month prior to the deadline. 
Notification of grant awards is made in late summer. 
The Application and Guidelines booklet can be obtained 
through the Funding Exchange by calling our office, or 
through our website. 

Are there time frame restrictions within which the 
funds must be used? Can the same individual apply 
for funds two years in a row? 

There are no time-frame restrictions on the use of the 
grant. We request that grantees complete a Progress 
Report six months after the receipt of the grant. We also 
encourage grantees to keep us informed on the overall 
progress of the project on an ongoing basis. 

Who makes the awards decisions? Can you name 
past panelists? 

Staff pre-selects projects and the activist-advised 
grant-making panel selects the finalists. The panel then 
makes its recommendations to the Funding Exchange 
Board of Directors, which approves the allocation of 
grant monies to those projects. 

The Robeson Fund grant-making panel involves 
grassroots activists, media activists, and mediamakers 
from all over the U.S. Our past panelists include Robert 
West, Curator of Film and Video at the Mint Museum of 
Art; Amber Hollibaugh, National Field Director of 
Women's Educational Services at the GMHC; Juanita 
Espinoza, Executive Director of Native Arts Circle; 
Gretchen Elsner-Sommer. Program Director at Women 
in the Director's Chair; and Karl Bruce Knapper, 
Robeson's representative to the FEX Board of Directors. 

Tell us a little about the review process. 

About 60% of all proposals make the first cut, and are 
then discussed over three days by the panel. Priorities 
include the use of the piece for progressive social 
change organizing; the creativity of the distribution 
strategy; the applicant's professional experience; the 
practicality of the fund-raising strategy; the demo- 
graphics of the production team; financial need; and 
geographical representation. 

What advice do you have for media artists in putting 
forth a strong application? 

Grant seekers should read the guidelines carefully and 
do the necessary research when approaching funders. 
Know your funder and ask the relevant questions. In 
writing their proposals, grant seekers should be clear, 
concise, and specific. A diversified fundraising strategy, 
a realistic budget, and a thorough distribution strategy 



MEET VIVIANA BIANCHI 

ROBESON PROJECT DIRECTOR 

and get your individual questions about the 

Robeson Fund answered in person at this month's 

Meet & Greet. See page 58 for details. 



are very important in presenting a strong application. 
Sample material is also extremely important in our con- 
sideration of a proposal, particularly for pre-production 
requests. We recommend that media artists submit 
sample material that is the strongest in content, form, 
and production values. 

What is the most common mistake applicants make? 

Submitting poor or inadequate sample materials; sub- 
mitting proposals with unrealistic or incomplete bud- 
gets; submitting proposals that lack clarity, political 
commitment, and an understanding of the type of dis- 
tribution models that the Robeson Fund seeks to fund. 

What would people most be surprised to learn 
about the Funding Exchange and/or its founders? 

The Funding Exchange model has inspired some of the 
newer progressive foundations, and our concern for 
involving activists in our grant-making has generated 
some of the most cutting-edge funding this country has seen. 

Other foundations or grant-making organizations 
you admire and why. 

Soros Documentary Fund, New World Foundation, 
Veatch, and Public Welfare, because they bring a pro- 
gressive vision that allows communities to develop their 
own agenda. 

If you weren't in the business of funding media, 
what would you be doing? 

I would be making it full time. 

Famous last words: 

As technology continues to transform the way we pro- 
duce, view, hear, and distribute media, we look forward 
to supporting new and exciting projects that push the 
boundaries and explore alternatives. 

The 15 FEX Funds 

Appalachian Community Fund, Knoxville, TN, (423) 525-5783; 
Bread & Roses Community Fund, Philadelphia, PA, (215) 731- 
1107; Chinook Fund, Denver, CO, (303) 455-6905; Crossroads 
Fund, Chicago, IL, (773) 227-7676; Fund for Southern 
Communities, Decatur, GA, (404) 292-7600; Haymarket 
People's Fund, Boston, MA, (617) 522-7676; Headwaters 
Fund, Minneapolis, MN, (612) 879-0602; Liberty Hill 
Foundation, Santa Monica, CA, (310) 453-3611; McKenzie 
River Gathering Foundation, Portland, OR, (503) 289-1517; 
North Star Fund, New York, NY, (212) 620-9110; Vanguard 
Public Foundation, San Francisco, CA, (415) 487-2111; 
Wisconsin Community Fund, Madison, Wl, (608) 251-6834; 
The People's Fund, Honolulu, HI, (808) 526-2441; Three Rivers 
Community Fund, Pittsburgh, PA, (412) 243-9250; Fund for 
Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, (805) 962-9164. 

Funder FAQ is profiles a wide range of funders of inde- 
pendent film and video. Send profile suggestions to 
michelle@aivf.org. 

Michelle Coe is program & information services 
director at AIVE 



42 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



(ZfE^E^E) 



by Scott Castle 

listings do not constitute an endorsement. we 
recommend that you contact the festival 
directly before sending cassettes, as details 
may change after the magazine goes to press, 
deadline: 1st of the month two months prior 
to cover date (apr. 1 for june issue). include 
festival dates, categories, prizes, entry fees, 
deadlines, formats & contact info. send to: 
festivals@aivf.org 

Domestic 

ANTI-FILM FESTIVAL, May, FL. Deadline: Early April. 
Founded in 1993, test emphasizes films "that challenge sta- 
tus quo, present difficult ideas & feature social, political or 
structural analysis." Organizers of test define it as: "'Anti- 
Film Festival', not 'anti-film'," in opposition to tests as gala 
marketing affairs w/ corporate sponsorship, etc. Seek mar- 
ginal, obscure minority of filmmakers w/ taste for poetry, dan- 
ger & complete disregard for market. Entries should be under 
15 min. & completed w/in last yr. Cash prizes. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, 1/2", super 8. Entry fee: $25. Contact: AFF, 
Abel Kleinbaum, test director, Alliance IFP/S, 927 Lincoln Rd., 
Ste. 119, Miami Beach, FL 33139; (305) 538-8242; fax: 532- 
9710; Alliancl@bigfoot.com; www.alliance-cinema.org 

BRAINWASH MOVIES FESTIVAL, June 30-July 2, CA. 
Deadline: May 1. All works must be original & less than 13 
min. Tapes will not be returned unless you incl. SASE. 
Formats: 16mm, VHS (NTSC). Preview on VHS (NTSC). Entry 
fee: $30. Contact: BMF, Shelby Toland, Brainwash Movies, 
Box 23302, Oakland, CA 94623; (415) 273-1545; shelby 
@brainwashm.com; www.brainwashm.com 

CHICAGO ALT.FILM FESTIVAL, June 7-11, IL. Deadline: 
March 10. 3rd annual fest is "Chicago's premiere film festi- 
val of American independent filmmakers," celebrating the 
best in indie films by emerging & established American film- 
makers. Fest provides forum for exhibition, recognition & edu- 
cation. Films submitted for competition must be a Chicago 
premiere. Awards: best feature, best director, best script, 
best performance by an actor or actress, best debut perfor- 
mance, best cinematography, best short & best doc. The 
Founder's Award will be given to most promising Midwest 
filmmaker. Formats: 16mm, 35mm & video. Preview on VHS. 
Entry fees: $50 (features & docs, 75 min. & over); $25 
(shorts & docs, under 60 min.); $30 (docs). Entry form avail, 
online. Contact: CAFF, Entries, 3430 N. Lake Shore Drive, Ste. 
19N, Chicago, IL 60657; (773) 525-4559; fax: 327-8669; 
chialtfilm@aol.com; www.members.aol.com/chialtfilm/fest 

CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL, August 4-10, IL. 
Deadlines: April 15 (early); June 1 (final). Fest presents 
underground, independent & experimental films & videos that 
dissent radically in form, technique &/or content from the 
"Indiewood" mainstream. We seek features, shorts, docs, 
animation & experimental films that defy & transcend com- 
mercial expectations. Cash awards in these cats: narrative 
feature, narrative short, doc short, doc feature, experimental, 
animation, audience choice & "made-in-Chicago." Formats 
35mm, 16mm, Beta SR Preview on VHS (NTSC). Entry fees: 
$20 (early), $35 (final). Contact: CUFF, 3109 North Western 
Ave., Chicago, IL 60618, (773) 327-3456; fax: 327-3464; 
info@cuff.org; www.cuff.org 



CINE ACCION FESTIVAL !CINE LATINO!, Sept. 14-17, San 
Francisco, CA Sept. 22-24, Berkeley, CA. Deadline: April 28. 
Fest's mission is to foster Latino self representation in the 
media arts & is a non-profit membership organization com- 
mitted to the production & exhibition of film & video which 
gives voice to the complexity & diversity of the Latino experi- 
ence. Past festivals have included tributes to Mexican direc- 
tor, Gabriel Figueroa, Cuban director, Tomas Gutierrez & 
actors Rita Moreno & Cheech Marin plus many up & coming 
filmmakers from across the nation. All film & video works by, 
for & about Latinos & Chicanos in U.S. as well as works that 
originate in Latin America & the Caribbean are encouraged to 
submit. Fest is open to all lengths & genres of works com- 
pleted after Jan. 1996. English subtitles strongly recommend- 
ed. Fest also seeks works by for & about youth for use in our 
free youth screenings. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, VHS 1/2". 
Preview on VHS. Entry fees: $20 (non Cine Accion members; 
cost incl. a 1 yr. membership), $10 (members).Contact: 
CAFCL, Rosalia Valencia, Festival Director, 346 9th St., San 
Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 553-8140; fax: 553-8137; 
cineaccion@aol.com; www.cineaccion.com 

CLEARWATER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, April 8-16, 
FL. Deadline: March 15. Fest is seeking feature length, shorts 
& docs & is accepting films that educate, entertain & enlight- 
en for various cats: children/family, action adventure, drama, 
comedy, mystery/suspense, sci-fi/fantasy & foreign (subtitled 
or in English). Prints must be avail, by deadline to be select- 
ed for awards presentations. Formats: 16mm, DVD, 35mm. 
Preview on VHS. Entry fees: $25 (shorts); $35 (docs); $50 
(features). Contact: CIFF, Box 537, Clearwater, FL 33757; 
(727) 442-3317; fax: 443-6753; info@clearwaterfilm 
festival.com; www.clearwaterfilmfestival.com 

DANCES WITH FILMS, June 23-29, CA. Deadlines: March 31 
(early); April 21 (final). 3rd annual competitive fest showcas- 
es more than a dozen features & shorts. Fest is one of the 
country's more unique: "solely geared to the true indepen- 
dents," with stipulations that all films accepted have 
unknown directors, actors & producers. Entry fee: $50. 
Contact: DWF, Warner Hollywood Studios, 1041 N. Formosa 
Ave., Pickford Bldg., Rm 203, West Hollywood, CA 90046; 
(323) 850-2929 fax: 850-2928; info@danceswithfilms.com; 
www.DancesWithFilms.com 

DA VINCI FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, July 15-16, OR 
Deadlines: April 20 (early), May 31 (final). Fest now accept- 
ing short submissions not exceeding 60 min. in length. Cats: 
narrative, animation, doc, music video, etc. Special section 
for young artists (kindergarten through high school) and col- 
leges/higher ed artists. Formats: Beta SR 3/4", VHS, S-VHS, 
DV. Preview on VHS. Entry fees: $5-$20. For entry forms & 
more info contact: DVFVF, Box 1536, Corvallis, OR 97339; 
(541) 757-6363; fax: 754-7590; davincifilm@buzzlink.com; 
www.davinci-days.org 

DOMINIQUE DUNNE YOUNG FIMMAKERS VIDEO/FILM FES- 
TIVAL, May 13, CO. Deadline: April 15. 30th year of int'l com- 
petition for originally produced videos by high school students 
& college freshmen; open to any student currently enrolled in 
high school grades 9- 12 or college freshman. Entries must be 
sole work of student filmmaker(s), w/ 2/3 original content. 
Cats: dramatic/narrative (3-24 min.), experimental (3-12 
min.) & stop action/computer animated. 3 cash awards given 
in dramatic/narrative & experimental cats; 1st prize $100, 
2nd prize $75, 3rd prize $50. Format & preview on VHS & S- 
VHS. Entry fee: $12 & SASE. Contact: DDYFVFF, David Manley, 
Fest Coordinator, Fountain Valley School of Colorado, 



Colorado Springs, CO 80911; (719) 392-2657; fax: 391- 
9039; dmanley@fvs.edu 

GOLDEN SHOWER VIDEO FESTIVAL, June 16-17, TX. 
Deadline: April 28. 6th annual fest looking for experimental, 
narrative, animation, exploitative, doc, stolen & original video 
or film. Prizes: 1st, lowrider bike; 2nd, mini accordion; 3rd, 
Lucha Libre (wrestling) gear. Format: VHS only (shorts or fea- 
tures). Entry fee: $10 cash only, no checks or money orders. 
No entries will be returned. An official entry form must 
accompany all entries; avail, for download from website. 
Contact: GSVF, Adam Rocha, 8039 Callaghan Rd PMB #611, 
San Antonio, TX 78230; (512) 457-8780; voicemail: (210) 
885-5888; arocha@texas.net; www.arocha.home.texas.net 

HARDSHARE INDEPENDENT FILMFEST, April 28-29, AR. 
Deadline: March 10 (early); March 24 (final). Hardshare visu- 
al artists collective presents its 1st int'l short film fest. 
Organizers are seeking short films & videos (40 min. or less), 
completed after Jan. 1, 1998, in any style or genre. Special 
consideration to works presenting thought-provoking materi- 
al. Fest is designed to educate local audiences about new & 
cutting edge cinema & to nurture a creative climate for the 
region's indie filmmakers. All entries eligible for Audience 
Choice awards. Preview on VHS (NTSC). Incl. SASE for return 
of tape. Incl. stamped postcard for acknowledgment. Entry 
fees: $20 (early); $30 (final) Send tape, fee, entry form, syn- 
opsis, production credit list & two publicity photos to: HIFF, 
Attn: Susan Hutchcroft, Box, 123 Winslow, AR 72959; (501) 
634-5901; hardsharefilmfest@yahoo.com 

HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 13-22, 
AR. Deadline: April 28. 9th annual fest accepting nonfiction 
film submissions for one of the country's premier nonfiction 
film celebrations. Noncompetitive fest honors films & film- 
makers each year in beautiful Hot Springs, AR. More than 70 
films are screened, incl. current year's Academy Award nom- 
inees in nonfiction cats & Int'l Doc Association honorees. 
Special guest scholars, filmmakers, & celebrities participate 
in humanities forums & lectures. Formats: 16mm, 35mm. 
VHS, Beta. Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $25 (domestic); $35 
(int'l). Contact: HSDFF, Melanie Masmo, 819 Central Ave.,Box 
6450, Hot Springs, AR 71902; (501) 321-4747; fax: 321- 
0211; hsdff@DocuFilmlnst.org; www.DocuFilmlnst.org 

INTERCOM INT'L COMMUNICATION FILM & VIDEO COM- 
PETITION, July, IL. Deadline: April 28. Oldest int'l industrial 
film & video fest in U.S., now in 36th year. Aim is "to show- 
case enormous technical & creative energy behind spon- 
sored prods. & to highlight importance of media arts in busi- 
ness communications." Industrial, sponsored & educational 
prods, eligible. Cats incl. dental science, doc, drug abuse, 
educational, environment/ecology, fashion/music video, 
fundraising, human relations, medicine, personal counseling, 
public relations, public service & info, religion, research, 
safety, sales/marketing, sports/rec, training, travel/trans- 
portation & video news release. Special achievement awards 
to acting, cinematography/videography, computer graph- 
ics/animation, directing, editing, graphics, humor, music, 
special effects & writing. Awards incl. Gold & Silver Hugos to 
top prods, in each cat. Gold & silver plaques may also be 
awarded in each competitive cat. Entries must be produced 
between preceding year & date of entry. All formats accept- 
ed. Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $35-$200. Contact: Intercom. 
32 West Randolph St., Ste 600. Chicago, IL 60601; (312) 
425-9400; fax: 425-0944; filmfest@suba.com: www.chica- 
go.ddbn.com/filmfest 



March 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 43 



(~=*_=i£i-'j.*s y^xsa^i) 



INTERNATIONAL JEWISH VIDEO COMPETITION, June, CA. 
Deadline: April 15. 7th annual competition accepts entries on 
Jewish themes from every level & cat of prod, incl. audio & 
interactive media. Awards: Jurors' Choice (share $1,500); 
Jurors' Citation (share $1,000), Directors' Choice (share 
$500); Honorable Mention (certificate & screenings); 
Lindheim Award for program that best explores political & 
social relationship between Jews & other ethnic & religious 
groups. Cash awards & nationwide screenings. Winners also 
screened at Magnes Museum for 2 months. Eligible films pro- 
duced w/in preceding 3 1/2 yrs & be under 100 min. Formats: 
all original formats acceptable. Preview on VHS (IMTSC or 
PAL). Entry fees: $30 (under 30 min.), $40 (over 30 min. 
Contact: IJVC, Bill Chayes, Video Competition Coordinator, 
Judah L. Magnes Museum, 2911 Russell St., Berkeley, CA 
94705; (510) 549-6952; fax: 549-6941; jewsvideo@ 
aol.com; wwwjewishfilms.com 



LAKE ARROWHEAD FILM FESTIVAL. May 

5-7, CA. Deadline: April 1. Lake Arrowhead 
is known as Hollywood's original play- 
ground. Also, the area incl. a beautiful four 
screen theater, the Blue Jay Cinema, and 
many other possible screening sites, a first 
class resort & twice the room for the festi- 
val to expand in the years to 
follow. Only 90 min. from L.A., 
test is a great asset for work- 
shops & increased attendance 
of filmmakers, studio execu- 
tives & distributors. Cats: fea- 
ture, animation, doc, short. 
Awards in each cat. Formats: 35mm 
16mm, 8mm, Beta, 1/2". Preview on VHS. 
Entry fee: $25 Contact: LAFF, Gen. Delivery, 
Lake Arrowhead, CA 92352; (909) 307- 
1074; filmfestival@pe.net; www.arrow- 
headfilmfest.com 



U.S. & int'l independent film, presenting 10 to 12 features, 
plus shorts. A variety of awards & prizes will be given for: 
best actor, actress, screenplay. Cats: feature, short. Awards: 
Feature Films (over 40 min.): best picture; best director; best 
actor; best actress; best supporting actor; best supporting 
actress; best screenplay; best character performance; Short 
Films (40 min. or less): best picture; best actor; best actress. 
Formats; 35mm, 16mm, Beta SR digital. Preview on VHS. 
Entry fees: features $35 (early), $50 (late); shorts: $25 
(early), $40 (late). Contact: MF, Franken Enterprises, 880 
Apollo St. Ste. 337, El Segundo, CA 90245; (310) 535-9230; 
fax: 535-9128; wrldclssprts@earthlink.net; www.methodfest.com 

MOUNTAINFILM, May 26-29, CO. Deadline: March 1. Fest is 
"dedicated to sustaining an appreciation for the uniqueness of 
the mountain environment & to the arts, politics & adventures 
that set these regions apart." Fest invites work of any length & 
on any subject Cats best animat- 
ed, historical, portrait of a people, 
exploration, mountaineering, envi- 
ronmental, nature. Awards: Two 
cash prizes, special jury commen- 
dation. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, 
1/2", Beta SR Preview on VHS. 



,, Tribute to the , 

Unknown Filmmaker 



Billing itself as "the festival for the 
truly independent," LA-based 
Dances With Films screens work 
which have no "known" directors, 



Entry fee: 




Dan 



VJKff. 



MAINE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. 

July 7-16, ME. Deadline: April 30. Non- 
competitive fest is primarily seeking fea- 
ture length films in 35mm. Shorter works & 
videos may be considered, but will proba- 
bly not be accepted unless they were shot 
in Maine or have a significant Maine theme 
or focus. Cats: feature, doc, short. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm., 3/4", 1/2", Beta 
SR Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $25 (non-refundable). Contact: 
MIFF, 10 Railroad Square, Waterville, ME 04901; (207) 861- 
8138; fax: 872-5502; info@miff.org; www.miff.org 

MARIN COUNTY SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, July 1-4, CA. 
Deadline: March 17 (early); April 14 (late). Fest runs as part 
of the Mann Co. Fair w/ films screening daily. Cats: narrative, 
doc, animated, experimental & family. Up to $2,400 in 
awards. Maximum running time is 30 min. Films must have 
been completed after Jan. 1, 1998. Cats: feature, doc, exper- 
imental, animation. Awards: Up to $2,400 in awards 
Formats: 16mm. Preview on VHS. Entry fees: domestic $25 
(early), $35 (late); int'l $35 (early), $40 (late). Contact: 
MCSFF, Marin Co. Fair, Ave. of the Flags, San Rafael, CA 
94903; ph/fax: (415) 499-6400; pgoodin@marin.org; www. 
marmfair.org 

THE METHOD FEST. June 16-23, CA. Deadline: March 1 
(early); April 10 (late). Now in its 2nd year & named for the 
Stanislavski Method, fest highlights great performances in 



actors, or producers. (A "known" 
individual is defined as someone 
who can raise finance via their 
name alone or can "open doors 
that might otherwise stay closed"). 
The three-year-old festival, which 
features 12 full-length narrative 
films and 16 shorts at this year's 
event, has seen previous entrants 
attain distribution and other fest 
success. This cross-pollination 
gives indie credit to more commer- 
cial festivals while giving very new 
filmmakers a chance at a wider 
audience. See listing. 



40. Contact: MF, Box 
1088, 300 S. Pine 
St., Tellunde, CO. 
81435; (970) 728- 
4123; fax: 728-6458; 
info ©mountain 
film.org; www.moun 
tainfilm.org 



NATIONAL 
FESTIVAL, 



CHILDREN'S FILM 

Aug. 28-30. IN. 
Deadline: April 17. NCFF is orga- 
nized in partnership w/ The 
Children's Museum of Indiana- 
polis & other Children's Museums 
nationwide. It aims to encourage 
films & videos written, directed & 
produced by youth (9-18), 
empowering children & young 
adults w/ their own voice & vision 
to promote better communication 
& understanding between genera- 
tions. Fest provides forum for 
self-expression & highlights 
issues of importance to young adults & children, reaching out 
to youth of all races, religions, cultures & those who are eco- 
nomically, physically & mentally challenged. Awards & schol- 
arships are given: Elementary (1st.) $1,000, Creative excel- 
lence. $500 Middle School (1st.) Creative excellence $2,000 
$1000 High School (1st.) $5,000, Creative excellence $2,500. 
Formats: Hi-8, S-VHS, VHS, 3/4", Beta SR super 8, 16mm & 
DV. (If using VHS, record in SR) Preview on VHS. For details of 
your nearest participating museum contact: NCFF leva 
Grundy, Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Box 3000, 
Indianapolis, IN 46206; (877) KIDSFILM; fax: 464-1360; 
ncff@childrensfilmfest.org; www.childrensfilmfest.org 

NATIVE AMERICAN FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL Nov. 2-6, NY. 
Deadline: April 7. 11th annual fest features films, videos & 
radio programs of all genres & web projects & CD-ROMs from 
North, Central & South America & Hawaii. Fest showcases 
productions by Native media makers, community projects & 
works reflecting Native perspectives. Works must be made 



after 1997. Preview on VHS (preferably NTSC); all formats 
screened. No entry fee. Contact: NAFVF, Natl Museum of the 
American Indian, One Bowling Green, NY, NY 10004; (212) 
514-3730; fax: 514-3725; www.fi.edu/nmai_film-i- video 

NOMAD VIDEOFILM FESTIVAL, June tour: WA, OR, CA. 
Deadline: April 1. Founded inl992, this Pacific coast touring 
venue (Seattle, Portland, San Francisco & other cities) incl. 
short, experimental videos/films using mixed media formats. 
We favor audacious work that risks strong personal belief in 
the subject matter. No cash prizes, trophies, kitchen knives, 
commodity coupons, or certificates. Winners receive: invalu- 
able written audience response to their work from every city 
on the tour plus media reviews, programs, posters. This 
year's theme, "real & faux documentaries," explores docud- 
ramas, mocumentaries, docufictions & any hybrids mediating 
the actual & the imaginal. Maximum duration: 20 min. 
Formats: Mini-DVD, Digital-8, Hi-8, S-VHS, VHS. Preview on 
VHS. Fest incorporates hi-tech video/data projection. Entry 
fee: $15. Applics./vision statement, Contact: NVF, Vertical 
Pool, attn: Sylvie Pickering, Box 7518, Berkeley CA 94707; 
(510) 464-4640; vpool@sirius.com; www.verticalpool. 
com/vstuff.html 

ONE REEL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, Sept. 1-4, WA. Deadline: 
May 1. 5th annual fest, held during Seattle's Bumbershoot 
Arts Festival, welcomes all styles & genres of films up to 30 
min. Awards: $1000 juried prize. Formats: 16mm, 35mm. 
Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $10. Contact: ORSFF 1725 Westlake 
Ave. N, Ste 202, Seattle, WA 98109; (206) 281-7788; fax: 
281-7799; filmfest@onereel.org; www.bumbershoot.org 

PALM BEACH INDEPENDENT FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, 

April 24-30, FL. Deadline: April 13. 5th annual fest was cre- 
ated to encourage & showcase innovative, short independent 
works from new, independent & low budget film & videomak- 
ers. Send VHS tapes of original film & video works of 30 min. 
or less in categories of fiction, doc, music video, experimen- 
tal, & animation. Please incl. SASE if you would like tapes 
returned. Award prizes include raw filmstock & equipment. 
Cats: fiction, documentary, experimental, music video & ani- 
mation under 30 min. Awards: Formats: 3/4", 1/2", Beta SR 
16mm, 35mm. Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $15. Contact: 
WPBIFF, Ariana Bearce, 222 Lakeview Ave., Ste. 160-284, 
West Palm Beach, FL 33401; (561) 802-3029; fax: 655- 
4190; keelyflow@flinet.com; www.wpbiff.org 

SAN FRANCISCO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL. July 20-Aug. 7, CA. 
Deadline: March 15. 20th anniverary extravaganza! Estab. in 
1980, noncompetitive fest (under annual theme Independent 
Filmmakers: Looking at Ourselves) showcases new 
Independent American Jewish-subject cinema & diverse 
selection of foreign films. Fest presents dramatic, doc, exper- 
imental & animated shorts & features about Jewish history, 
culture & identity. Filmmakers need not be Jewish; films 
selected by subject. Special programs vary yearly & have 
included Russian, Sephardic & Latino programs. 35-40 films 
showcased each yr. Cats: experimental, short, animation, fea- 
ture, documentary, Jewish. Awards: Audience Award Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, Beta SR Preview on VHS. No entry fee. Contact: 
SFJFF. Janis Plotkin, Director, or Sam Ball, Associate Director, 
346 9th St., San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 621-0556; fax: 
548-0536; Jewishfilm@aol.com; www.sfjff.org 

STONY BROOK FILM FESTIVAL, July 19-29. NY Deadline: 
April 1. Staller Center for the Arts presents 5th annual fest 
Cats: features, shorts, doc, animation. Formats: 16mm & 
35mm. Preview on VHS. Entry fees: $25 (shorts, up to 30 



44 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 






min); $50 (feature, over 30 min.) Entry form avail, online. 
Contact: SBFF, Staller Center for the Arts, SUNY Stony Brook, 
Stony Brook, NY 11794; (631) 632-7233; fax: 632-7354; 
festival@stallercenter.com; www.stallercenter.com/festival 

STUDENT MEDIA ARTS FESTIVAL, Rochester, NY Deadline: 
June 30. Founded in '88, test organized entirely by & for stu- 
dents. All tapes reviewed by peer committees of students of 
time-based media. Fest seeks wide variety of interesting & 
challenging work that demonstrates concerns of students of 
all ages. All genres & subjects welcome; works must be com- 
pleted w/in previous 2 yrs & no more than 28 mm. Selected 
tapes incl. in 12-wk exhibit in Visual Studies Workshop 
Gallery & cablecast on RCTV public access. Fest also 
becomes part of extensive archives of Visual Studies 
Workshop Galleries traveling exhibitions program. About 20 
works selected each yr for audiences of over 400. Cats: Any 
style or genre. Formats: DV, 8mm, 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". 
Preview on VHS. No entry fee, (return postage necessary). 
Contact: SMARTfest, Visual Studies Workshop, 31 Prince St., 
Rochester, NY 14607; (716) 442-8676; fax.- 442-1992; 
info@vsw.org; www.vsw.org 

UC DAVIS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, April 16-18, CA. 
Deadline: April 2 (early); April 9 (final). Fest a.k.a. the Golden 
Calf Awards "provides a showcase for student films & inde- 
pendent films from all over the world & stimulates local inter- 
est in the film medium." Cats: feature, short, animation, doc. 
Awards: cash & non-cash prizes. Formats: 16mm, 35mm. 
Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $15 (early); $25 (final). Contact: 
UCDIFF, Leah Abriani, Campus Cinema, 37 Memorial Union, 
Davis, CA 95616; (530) 752-7570; fax: 752-8543; campus- 
cinema@yahoo.com; www.asucd.ucdavis.edu/cinema/ 
FilmFestival/filmfestival.html 

Foreign 

ART FILM FESTIVAL, June 23-30, Slovak Republic 
(Trencianske Teplice). Deadline: April 7. Competitive fest 
showcasing films about art & artists. Cats-. Art fiction (art 
feature films, new ways of artistic expression), Artefacts (doc 
films on art & artists, short art films), On the Road (student 
films on art, visual experiments). Awards: Cash & non-cash 
prizes Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta. Preview on VHS. No 
entry fee Contact: Art Film, Koventna 8, 811 03 Bratislava, 
Slovak Republic; Oil 421 7 5441 9481, 9479; fax: 421 7 
5441 9372, 1679; festival@artfilm.sk; www.artfilm.sk 

CANNES FILM FESTIVAL, DIRECTOR'S FORTNIGHT, May 10- 

21. For the 11th consecutive year, the IFP is serving as offi- 
cial U.S. representive for the Director's Fortnight. If you have 
a fiction feature produced after Jan. 1999 & would like to 
submit it for consideration for the Director's Fortnight, please 
call Robert Keller at the IFP for guidelines & application form. 
(212) 465-8200; 465-8525; www.ifp.org 

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES FILM FESTIVAL: THE FEMININE 
LOOK: June, Algarve, Brazil. Deadline: May 15. Showcasing 
films by women directors from around the world that were 
based on or inspired by published works — novels, short sto- 
ries, plays, poems, etc. — written by women. Subtitles needed 
for films in languages other than Portugese, English or French. 
Special series: Roots, Visions of the Self, Women by Women & 
One-Minute Gems. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, Beta SP Preview 
in VHS. Film credits, date, contact info & literary work on which 
film is based, along w/ brief bio of its author. Contact: CIFF, 



Hobo films, 241 W. 36th St., Ste. 15, NY, NY 10018; (212) 
594-1883; cinemalgarve@aol.com; hobofilm@aol.com 

FESTIVAL OF NATIONS, June 20-26, Austria. Deadline: April 
1. All noncommercial films & videos qualified to participate. 
Please enclose short description of film. Film/video must be 
completed w/in last two years. Duration of film is limited to 
30 min. Films rated by int'l jury. Cats: Any style or genre. 
Awards: "Ebenseer Bear" in gold, silver & bronze. The 
Austrian Science & Art Minister Prize: AT 3,000. "Special 
Award for Best Film" of competition: Author (or one member 
of the team) will receive invitation to participate free of 
charge in festival the following year. Special award for best 
experimental film. UNICA-Medaille Certificate for every par- 
ticipant. Formats: 16mm, super 8, VHS, S-VHS, 3/4". Preview 
on VHS. No entry fee. Contact: FON, Erich Riess, 
Goumbergstrasse 82, A-4060 Linz, Austria; Oil 43 732 673 
693; fax: 43 732 673 693; eva-video@netway.at; 
www.members.pgv.at/filmamateuere/ebensee.html 

HUESCA INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, June 5- 
13, Spain. Deadline: April 1. Founded in 1973, competitive 
showcase for Spanish & foreign short films has aim of "the 
dissemination of image as a contribution to the better knowl- 
edge & fraternity among the nations of the world." Awards: 
"Ciudad de Huesca" Golden Danzante (1,000,000 ptas., 
$6,165); Silver Danzante (500,000 ptas., $3,080); Bronze 
Danzante (250,000 ptas., $1,540). Other awards: Award 
"Sociedad General de Autores y Editores" for best script; 
Award "Francisco Garcia De Paso" to short film that best 
emphasizes human values; Award "Casa de America" to 
best new director (their first or second production in 16mm 
or 35mm). No thematic restrictions, except no films dealing 
w/ tourism or publicity. Entries must be unawarded in other 
tests in Spain, produced in 1999 or 2000 & be under 30 min. 
Of approx. 400 entries received each year, about 170 shown. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm. Preview on VHS. No entry fee. 
Contact: HISFF, Jose Mana Escriche, Comite de Direccion, 
Apartado 174, 22080 Huesca, Spain; Oil 34 9 74 21 25 82; 
fax: 34 9 74 21 00 65; huescafest@tsai.es; www. 
huesca-filmfestival.com; www.huesca-filmfestival.com/ 

HUNGARIAN MULTICULTURAL CENTER FILM & VIDEO FES- 
TIVAL, Sept. 22-25, Hungary. Deadline: April 12 (postmark). 
4th annual fest accepts film, video (PAL) & animated works. 
Incl. English text of work & a brief bio, for PR & program book. 
Work must be under 30 min. in length & been completed in 
1998/1999. Cats: animation, feature, short, doc. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Preview on VHS (NTSC), incl. SASE 
for return. Entry fee: $35. Contact: HMSFVF, Hungarian Multi- 
cultural Center, Inc., 6723 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX 75230; 
tel/fax: (972) 308-8191; bszechy@mail.smu.edu 

JERUSALEM FILM FESTIVAL, July 13-22, Israel. Deadline: 
April 15. 17th annual fest will screen over 175 films in vari- 
ous cats, incl. Cats: feature, short, retro, doc, experimental, 
int'l cinema, short, animation, avant garde, U.S. indies, 
Israeli & Mediterranean cinema, Jewish themes, restorations 
& classics. Must be Israeli premieres. Awards incl: Wolgin 
Awards for Israeli cinema, Lipper Award for best Israeli 
script; (int'l competition: Wim van Leer In the Spirit of 
Freedom Award, Jewish Theme Award). Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Preview on VHS. No entry fee. Contact: JFF, 
Lia van Leer, Director, Box 8561, Derech Hebron, Jerusalem, 
Israel 91083; Oil 9722 672 4131; fax: 9722 673 3076; 
jer_cine@inter.net.il; www.jer-cine.org.il 




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KARLOVY VARY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, July 5-15, 
Czech Republic. Deadline: April. Annual FIAPF-recognized 
competitive test, founded in 1946. Held at one of world's old- 
est & most famous spas, fest is one of largest film events in 
central Europe. Feature competition & doc competition (fea- 
ture-length & shorts) accompanied by several noncompeti- 
tive sections. Competition entries must have be completed 
since Jan. 1 of previous yr & not have competed in other int'l 
tests. Awards: Grand Prize of Crystal Globe, Special Jury 
Award, Best Director Prize, Best Actor/Actress & Lifetime 
Achievement Award. Format: 35mm. Preview on VHS. No 
entry fee. Contact: KVIFF, Jiri Bartoska, Panska 1, 110 00 
Prague 1, Czech Republic; Oil 420 2 24 23 54 13; fax: 420 
2 24 23 34 08; program@iffkv.cz; www.iffkv.cz 

NEW ZEALAND FILM FESTIVALS, July 7-23 (Auckland); July 
14-30 (Wellington); July 21-August 6 (Dunedin); July 26- 
August 12 (Christchurch), New Zealand. Deadline: April 30. 
July is film festival time in New Zealand. Fests are presented 
every winter by the New Zealand Film Festival, a charitable 
trust set up by the NZ Federation of Film Societies, a profes- 
sional, non-profit, non-political incorporated society w/ the 
aims of fostering interest in the motion picture & encourag- 
ing high standards of motion picture appreciation. From the 
same core program of approximately 120 features & as many 
shorts, the organizers present major fest in Wellington & 
Auckland & "selected highlights" programmes in the South 
Island cities of Christchurch & Dunedin. A further reduced 
programme travels to six provincial cities. Over two decades 
these fests have constituted a superb platform from which to 
introduce many notable films to New Zealand audiences. In 
1999 fest audiences exceeded 200,000. Those submitting 
films for consideration are asked to indicate availability by 
location. Most filmmakers opt to screen in both the 
Wellington & Auckland Film Festivals, but this is not a pre- 
requisite to inclusion in either. Formats: 35mm, 70mm, 
16mm, 3/4", 1/2", Beta. Preview on VHS. No entry fee. 
Contact: NZFF, Box 9544, Marion Square, Wellington, New 
Zealand 6001; Oil 64 4 385 0162; fax: 64 4 801 7304; 
festival@enzedff.co.nz; www.enzedff.co.nz/ 

ODENSE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Aug 14-19, 
Denmark. Deadline: April 1. 15th annual fest is organized by 
city of Odense & Danish Film Institute. It is designed to 
screen unusual short films w/ an original & imaginative 
sense of creative delight as found in the works of Hans 
Christian Anderson. Cats: experimental-imaginative & fairy 
tale. Films must not exceed 45 min. Film must have been 
completed on or after May 1, 1999. Educational, advertising 
& tourist films cannot compete. Awards: Grand Prix, most 
imaginative, most surpiismg & special jury prizes. Formats: 
16mm, 35mm. Preview on VHS. Contact: OIFF, Vindegade 18, 
DK-5000, Odense C, Denmark; Oil 45 6613 1372 x.4044; 
fax: 45 6591 4318; HN@Odense.dk; www.filmfestival.dk 

SAO PAULO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL Aug. 1-6, Brazil. 
Deadline April 14. Fest aims to present films w/ Jewish sub- 
jects to improve the cultural exchange & to reflect about this 
specific genre. Includes international competition & special 
programs. Award given for Best Jewish Film. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, video, Beta. Preview on VHS. No entry fee. 
Contact: SPJFF, Daniela Wasserstein, Fest Dir. A Hebraica, 
Rua hungria 1000-01455.000, Sao Paulo SR Brazil; tel/fax 
Oil 55 11 818 8809, fcjsp@hebraica.org.br; 
www.fcjsp.com.br 

ST. PETERSBURG "MESSAGE TO MAN" FESTIVAL, July 15- 
22, Russia. Deadline: April 10. Int'l fest accepts feature doc 



(up to 120 min.), short doc (up to 40 mm.), short fiction (up 
to 60 min.), animated films (up to 60 mm.). Program incl. best 
debut (1st professional as well as student films), int'l com- 
petition & special programs. Entries must have been com- 
pleted after Jan. 1999. Cash awards. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. 
Preview on 1/2" VHS (PAL, SECAM, NTSC). Contact: SPM- 
TOMF, Mikhail Litviakov, 12 Karavannaya 191011, St. 
Petersburg, Russia; Oil 7 812 235 2660; fax: 7 812 235 
3995; centaur@spb.cityline.ru; www.message_to_man.ru; 
Contact in US: Anne Borin, c/o Donnell Media Center, 10 W. 
53rd St., New York, NY 10019; (212) 586-6367; fax: 586-6391. 

TORONTO SUPER 8 FILM FESTIVAL, June 23-25, Canada. 
Deadline: March 31. Fest dedicated to small gauge films, 
showing a wide range or work by first-time filmmakers & 
seasoned supereighters. Formats: super 8, VHS (shot pre- 
dominantly on super 8). Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $5. 
Contact: TS8FF, 423 Shaw St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6J 
2X4; (416) 537-2256; coldsore@interlog.com; www. 
interlog.com/~coldsore/ 

TORONTO WORLDWIDE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL June 5-11, 
Canada. Deadline: March 15. 6th annual fest is one of top 
five short film festivals in the world according to the NY 
Times & rates inclusion on its list of festivals for the Oscars. 
Awards: Best Film in animation, drama, computer animation, 
doc, experimental & children's cats. Cash awards: best int'l 
& best Canadian film. Films must be under 40 min. Formats: 
16mm & 35mm. Films must be completed w/in two yrs. prior 
to deadline. No entry fee. Contact: TWSFF, Brenda Sherwood, 
Executive Director, 60 Atlantic Ave., Ste. #106, Toronto, 
Ontario, Canada M6K 1X9; (416) 535-8506, 535-8342; 
twsff@idirect.com 

VANCOUVER QUEER FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL, August 
10-20, Canada. Deadline: April 15. 12th annual fest now 
seeking film & video submissions of short & feature length 
docs, narrative/non-narratives, animation & everything 
which is of interest to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, ortransgen- 
dered peoples. Fest incl. screenings, parties, workshops, and 
galas & is a forum for the development of dialogue between 
t/l/b/g people of all ethnicities, cultures, ages, abilities & 
gender definitions. Awards: Gerry Brunet Memorial Award 
($400), to the most inspirational short work of any genre or 
format by a Canadian artist currently residing in B.C. Only 
works completed after Jan. 1999 are eligible. All submissions 
must incl. an entry form avail, from web site. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, super 8, 3/4" U-Matic, 1/2" VHS (no Beta). 
Preview on VHS. No entry fee. Contact: VQFVF, Out On Screen, 
Box 521, 1027 Davie St.., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6E 4L2 ; 
(604) 844-1615; fax: 844-1698; submit® 
outonscreen.com; www.outonscreen.com 

VILA DO CONDE INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, 

July 6-11, Portugal. Deadline: April 23. 8th annual fest 
accepting films under 40 min. produced in 1999 or 2000. 
Cats: fiction, doc, animation. Awards: Grand prize in each 
category of a trophy, diploma & PTE 500,000 ($2,560); Prize 
of the Audience, trophy & PTE 300,000 ($1,530). If film has 
dialogue in languages other than English, French, Spanish, or 
Portuguese & it is not subtitled in any of these languages, 
then incl. translated script. Extracts of accepted films may be 
broadcast on TV channels for fest publicity. Formats: 16mm, 
35mm. Preview on VHS. Entry form required & avail, on web- 
site. Contact: VDCISFF, Auditorio Municipal, Praca da 
Republica, 4480-715 Vila do Conde, Portugal; Oil 351 52 
641644; fax: 351 52 642871; isffviladoconde® 
mailtelepac.pt; www.ficm-vc.bsi.net 



46 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



notices of relevance to aivf members are list- 
ed free of charge as space permits. the 
independent reserves the right to edit for 
length and makes no guarantees about repeti- 
tions of a given notice. limit submissions to 60 
words & indicate how long info will be cur- 
rent, deadline: 1st of the month, two months 
prior to cover date (e.g., apr. 1 for june issue), 
complete contact info (name, address & phone) 
must accompany all notices. send to: 
independent notices, fivf, 304 hudson st., 6th 
fl, ny, ny 10013. we try to be as current as pos- 
sible, but double-check before submitting 
tapes or applications. 

Competitions 

FIRST TEEN IMPROV MOVIE CONTEST: Join moviemakers 
in NY, MA IL & IA to develop art of improvising a movie in 
one or two days. Use our MOVIExperience format or your 
own curriculum. Cash prizes from Second City & others. 
Include w/ entry form your storyboard, visual proof that 
teens are behind the camera & check for $50 to Group 
Creativity Projects (nonprofit), 1029 Federal, Belchertown, 
MA 01007. Dave Shepherd, Coordinator: (413) 256-1991. 

FLICKS ON 66 "WILD WEST DIGITAL SHOOTOUT"— Ten- 
Minute Scripts. Accepting 10-page scripts for production. 
Ten finalists come to Albuquerque, during the week of July 
14-22 to shoot, edit & screen their movie while competing 
for the Palm de Grease. Award: digital video camera & edit- 
ing equipment. Deadline: April 1. Entry fee: $35. Applic. 
info: Flicks on 66, Box 7038, Albuquerque, NM 87194; fax: 
(888) 837-9289; info@flickson66.com; www.FLICKSon66. 
com 

HEART OF FILM SCREENPLAY COMPETITION Call for 
entries. Two cats: feature length adult/mature themes & 
feature length children/family themes. Awards: cash 
prizes; participation in Heart of Film Mentorship Program; 
air fare (up to $500) & accommodations to attend Heart of 
Film Screenwriters Conference Oct. 1-4; & Heart of Film 
Bronzed Award. Entry fee: $35. Deadline: May 15. For info: 
(800) 310-FEST; austinfilm@aol.com; www.austinfilmfes- 
tival.org 

HOLLYWOOD'S SYNOPSIS WRITING CONTEST: Establ. to 
give you experience, feedback, direction etc. as to whether 
your current synopsis writing would make an agent, pro- 
ducer or development company sit up & take notice. You 
may enter a one-page synopsis of a screenplay you already 
have written, or a screenplay you intend to write. Judges 
evaluate synopses on originality, marketability & clever- 
ness. Each contestant receives personalized commentary 
on merits of each synopsis entered. Winner receives free 
copy of Final Draft, valued at $299, plus a free Script Detail 
of the screenplay of your choice valued at $150, both com- 
pliments of LA's The Source World Wide Scriptservice. 
Deadline: last day of every month. Only online entries 
accepted; info@thesource.com.au; www.thesource.com. 
au/hollywood/entry-form.html 

NTV-FILM SCREENPLAY CONTEST for feature-length 
scripts. All genres accepted. Winning script will be pur- 
chased for production by NTV (you must have rights). Send 



script w/ entry fee $40 payable to NTV, 21 Central Park 
West, Ste. IT, New York, NY 10023. 

SCRIPTAPALOOZA is a company that not only champions 
the talented writer, but takes that writer beyond just prize 
money. Creates golden opportunities for winning writers to 
possibly be discovered, get representation, have their script 
optioned, or to sell it outright. First deadline (March 1 post- 
mark): $40; final deadline (April 15 postmark): $45. For 
rules, guidelines & application: www.scriptapalooza.com; 
Scriptapalooza, 7775 Sunset Blvd., PMB # 200, 
Hollywood, CA 90046. 

16th ANNUAL IDA DISTINGUISHED DOCUMENTARY 
ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS COMPETITION Cats: feature, short, 
David A. Wolper student doc, limited series, strand program, 
IV. magazine segment, ABCNEWS Videosource award & Pare 
Lorentz award. Winners are honored at 16th Annual Awards 
Gala on Oct. 27 & screened at Doc Fest, Oct. 28. Early bird 
deadline w/ discount April 15; final deadline May 15. For 
entry forms: (310) 284- 8422 x. 68; ida@artnet.net; 
www.documentary.org 

YOUNG FILM COMPOSERS COMPETITION: Turner Classic 
Movies (TCM) cable network announces partnership w/ 
Film Music magazine to host the Young Film Composers 
Competition, to give young composers the rare opportunity 
to compose & record a musical score for a silent film in the 
TCM library. MP3.com, an online digital music destination, 
will be the exclusive point for contest entries. Composers 
should visit www.turnerclassicmovies.com/music, for entry 
form that allows them to submit a demo score for 90-sec- 
ond silent movie clip. This official contest site will contain 
links to MP3.com, where artists can sign up for a free web 
page & upload audio files of their demo for review by a 
select team of music industry professionals. 20 finalists 
selected. Grand prize winner selected in May 2000, will 
have opportunity to compose & record score for a to-be- 
announced silent film. Deadline: March 8; www.mp3.com 

Conferences • Workshops 

BROOKLYN ARTS EXCHANGE (formerly Gowanus Arts 
Exchange) will present their next film & video showing in 
their Independent Film & Video Series Sunday, Mar. 19 at 6 
pm — an evening of films/videos by or about women, as 
part of our Women's Festival. 

DIRECTOR'S FORTNIGHT, CANNES FILM FESTIVAL: For the 

11th consecutive year, the Independent Feature Project is 
serving as official U.S. representive for the Director's 
Fortnight (May 10-21). If you have a fiction feature produced 
after Jan. 1999 & would like to submit it for consideration for 
the Director's Fortnight, please call Robert Keller at the IFP 
for guidelines & application form. (212) 465-8200; fax: 465- 
8525; www.ifp.org 

FROM TODAY: A CONFERENCE OF ELECTRONICALLY 
MEDIATED DOCUMENTARY WORK. March 15-17, 
Providence, Rl. Hosted by Brown University's Scholarly 
Technology Group, From Today is conference for doc pro- 
ducers & publishers focusing on new technologies for field- 
work, production & distribution. Conference will include 
panel discussions & presentations of new doc work as well 
as practical seminars addressing techniques & strategies 



facilitated by electronic tools. Conference seeks participa- 
tion from anyone interested in presenting or discussing 
their own electronically mediated doc work. For more info: 
www.stg.brown.edu/conferences/ fromtoday; fromto- 
day@brown.edu; (401) 863-9313. 

"TUCSON 2000"— The Alliance for Community Media's 
2000 international conference & trade show, July 12-15. 
Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson, Arizona. For more info, 
contact ACM, 666 11th St., NW, Ste. 740, Washington, DC. 
20001, or call (202) 393-2650. 



Films • Tapes Wanted 

aif showing independent features & shorts: join 

the festival now! Show your film to 1.1 million potential 
viewers daily. AIF is streaming independent films via 
Broadcast.com, in their entirety, regardless of format or 
length, www.alwaysif.com 

AIR YOUR SHORTS: new public access cable show seeks 
short films to run & filmmakers to interview. No pay, just 
satisfaction & publicity of having films aired. Sean (714) 
531-7623; www.shortfilmz.com 

AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE accepting entries for its on- 
going program, The Alternative Screen: A Forum for 
Independent Film Exhibition & Beyond. Send submissions 
on 1/2" VHS tape. Feature-length independent film, doc & 
new media projects wanted. 1800 N. Highland, Ste. 717, 
L.A., CA 90028. For more info: (323) 466-FILM or 461- 
2020 x. 117. 

ANOMALOUS VIDEO THEATER seeks works of 60 mm. or 
less for unorthodox local access TV showcase in experi- 
mental, abstract & doc categories. Those featuring unusu- 
al or unique points of view especially encouraged. Formats: 
VHS & S-VHS only. Must have originated on some video for- 
mat. Submission implies consent to broadcast. Send suffi- 
cient SASE for return. Deadline: on-going. Contact: 
Anomalous Video Theater, 1335 Huron River Dr. #19. 
Ypsilanti, Ml 48197; anomalousvideo@hotmail.com 

ARC GALLERY reviewing for solo & group exhibitions. All 
media incl. video, performance & film. Send SASE for 
prospectus to: ARC Gallery. 1040 W. Huron, Chicago, IL 
60622 or call (312) 733-2787; www.icsp.net/arc 

ART IN GENERAL seeks short works for 2000 video series. 
All genres considered. Submit VHS only, resume, brief 
statement & SASE for return of materials to: Future 
Programs, Video Series, Art in General, 79 Walker St., New 
York, NY 10013; (212) 219-0473. 

ATOM FILMS is an innovative, short-film distribution & 
marketing company seeking high-quality live action, ani- 
mation & digital short films for Broadcast & Cable 
Television, home video, DVD, internet, hospitality, theatrical 
& educational markets. We are looking for films in any 
genre w/ length of 30 min. or less. Films must have all 
clearance & rights for commercial distribution in order to be 
considered by Atom films. Send submissions on VHS, 
NTSC. PAL. or SECAM to Atom Films, Attn: Acquisitions, 80 
South Washington. Ste. 303. Seattle. WA 98104; (206) 
264-2735; info@atomfilms.com; www.atomfilms.com. 
Tapes will not be returned. 



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AXLEGREASE, Buffalo cable access program of ind. film & 
video, accepting all genres under 28 min.. Ill", 3/4", 8mm, 
Hi8. Send labeled w/ name, address, title, length, addition- 
al info & SASE for tape return to: Squeaky Wheel, 175 
Elmwood Ave.. Buffalo, NY 14201; (716) 884-7172; 
squeaky@pce.net 

BALLYHOO!: television show is dedicated soley to the pro- 
motion & exploration of independent films. Each episode 
weaves together short films, local filmmaker interviews & an 
exciting event or activity hosted by celebrity Anne Deason. 
Ballyhoo is currently airing in Pittsburgh, Chicago, Malibu, 
Orlando, Tampa & Austin (approx. 2.5 million viewers.) 
Ballyhoo celebrated its two-year anniversary in May of this 
year. Ballyhoo is accepting films & video's under 30 min. 
Submit VHS tape & return postage to Frameworks Alliance, 
c/o Ballyhoo, 1906 E. Robinson St. Orlando, FL 32803 (407) 
898-0504. 

BROOKLYN ARTS EXCHANGE (formerly Gowanus Arts 
Exchange) is accepting submissions of short 16mm films & 
videos (up to 30 min.) by NYC artists for the Independent 
Film & Video Series. Any genre or subject matter. Deadline: 
On-going. Send tapes & SASE to: The Ind. Film & Video 
Series, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, 421 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 
NY 11215; Info/details: (718) 832-0018. 

CIN(E)-P0ETRY FESTIVAL accepting short poetry or literary 
films, videos, documentaries & multimedia pieces for cat- 
alog & upcoming poetry video film festival. Request entry 
form: Cin(E)-Poetry, 934 Brannan St., 2 fl., San Francisco, 
CA 94103; (415) 552-9261; fax: 552-9261; poetry® 
nationalpoetry.org 

D.FILM Digital Film Festival [www.dfilm.com] is a traveling 
showcase of shorts made w/ computers & other new & rad- 
ical technologies. D.FILM was official digital film program at 
1999 Cannes Film Festival. Look for it in your city & visit 
web site to make your own movie online w/ the Movie 
Maker Game. 

DOBOY'S DOZENS: Monthly showcase w/ up to 350 indus- 
try attendees seeks short films for highlighting works by up 
& coming filmmakers. Contact: Eugene Williams, Doboy's 
Dozens, 1525 N. Cahuonga Blvd. #39, Hollywood, CA 
90028; (323) 293-6544; doboydozen@aol.com 

DUTV-CABLE 54, a progressive, nonprofit access channel 
in Philadelphia, seeks works by indie producers. All genres 
& lengths considered. No payment. Will return tapes. VHS, 
S-VHS & 3/4" accepted. Contact: George 
McCollough/Debbie Rudman, DUTV-Cable 54, 3141 
Chestnut St., Bldg 9B, Rm 4026, Philadelphia, PA 19104; 
(215) 895-2927; www.libertynet.org/dutv 

EXHIBITION OPPORTUNITIES FOR 2000 SEASON. All 

media considered incl. 2-D, 3-D, performance, video & 
computer art. Send resume, 20 slides or comparable docu- 
mentation, SASE to: University Art Gallery, Wightman 132, 
Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Ml 48858. 

FILM STUDENTS— CALL FOR ENTRIES Angelus Awards 
Student Film Festival accepting submissions through July 
1. Cash prizes, gifts, Directors Guild screenings. Call (800) 
874-9999 or visit: www.angelus.org 

FILMFILM.COM the Internet's complete movie studio 



48 THE-INDEPENDENT March 2000 



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basis for its Internet 24/7 screening room. Are you ready for 
a worldwide audience? Seeking shorts & features of all gen- 
res Contact: info@filmfilm.com 

FLOATING IMAGE seeks film/video animation & shorts for 
public/commercial TV program. Send VHS or S-VHS to 
Floating Image Productions, Box 7017, Santa Monica, CA 
90406 (incl. SASE for return); (310) 313-6935; www. 



TEMPERATURE READING 

People for the American Way's 
recent publication Hostile 
Climate: Report on Anti-Gay 
Activity is a timely 
barometer of the 
state of censorship, 
violence, legislation, 
and activism in the 
gay community here. 
Of interest specifi- 
cally to the filmmak- 
ing community are 
essays by activist 
filmmakers such as 
Arthur Dong 

(Licensed to Kill) 
and Debra Chasnoff 
(It's Elementary), 
both of whom had to 
wage battles against 
anti-gay groups to 
get their films to air 
on public television. 
The "Incidents" sec- 
tion of the book fea- 
tures short write-ups 
covering a wide- 
spectrum of ac- 
tivism, both local 
and national, in 
many categories including 
government, religion, employ- 
ment & censorship. Contact: 
www.HostileClimate.org 



MAKOR continues its on-going series showcasing emerg- 
ing Jewish filmmakers' work. Now accepting shorts, fea- 
tures, docs &/or works-in-progress on any theme for 
screening considerations network building. MAKOR's film 
program is sponsored by Steven Spielberg's Righteous 
Persons Foundation. Contact: Ken Sherman at (212) 601- 
1021 or ken.sherman@makor.org 

NETBROADCASTER.COM seeks films & videos for stream- 
ing on the net. Expose your feature or short to int'l audi- 
ence. Seeking all genres & formats from drama, horror, 
comedy, animation, docs, experimental, music videos, as 
well as reality-based videos. We want it all! 
Netbroadcaster.com launched last fall. Site hosted by 
Alchemy Communications, one of largest ISPs on the net: 
films@alchemy.net 



HOSTILE 
CLIMATE 

report on anfi-goy «tivity 
1999 edition 




artnet.net/~floatingimage 

FOOTAGE WANTED: Tigress Productions seeking 8mm or S- 
8 footage of 42nd St./Times Square area from 1960s & 70s 
for doc. All film returned, some paid, film credit. Contact: 
June Lang (212) 977-2634. 

KINOFIST IMAGEWORKS seeks work w/ relevance to alter- 
native youth culture for screening & distribution w/in 
underground community. DIY, experimental & activist work 
encouraged. Send VHS to: Kmofist Imageworks, Box 1102, 
Columbia, MO 65205; kinofist@hotmail.com 

KQED-TV, public television serving San Francisco/ 
Oakland/San Jose, is looking for independent docs & dra- 
mas 6 to 30 min. in length for broadcast acquisition. 
Contact: Scott Dwyer, sdwyer@kqed.org; (415) 553-2218. 



NEW VENUE [www.newv- 
enue.com] showcases 
movies made specifically 
for Internet & offers film- 
makers a guide to optimiz- 
ing video for web. Submit a 
digital flick for Y2K season 
now: QuickTime or Flash, 5 
MB or less ( 15 min. or less 
for streaming). 

PERIPHERAL PRODUCE is 

a roving, spontaneous 
screening series & distribu- 
tor of experimental video. 
Based in Portland, OR & a 
project of Rodeo Film 
Company, Peripheral 

Produce seeks to promote 
experimental, abstract, & 
media-subversive work. 
Formats: 16mm, VHS, super 
8. Entry fee: $5. Deadline: 
on-going. Contact: 

Peripheral Produce, c/o 
Rodeo Film Co. Box 40835, 
Portland, OR 97240; perph@jps.net; www.jps.net/perph 

PIONEERING INTERNET NETWORK w/ 24-hr on-demand 
access seeks art history related film/videos (English only) 
of all lengths for non-exclusive Internet-only broadcast 
rights. Content will be broadcast in high speed streaming 
audio/video format on its new art history channel. No pay, 
just satisfaction & prestige of having your. work seen 
around the world. Preferred AVI or quick time file on CD, 
DVD, or Jaz. Will also accept VHS, Beta, DV, DVcam (NTSC 
preferred). 

PUBLIC ACCESS INTERNET TV wants your home TV shows 
& movies. 5-30+ min. If you have one show great; if you 
can do it weekly, even better! we are aiming for more of an 
adult viewing crowd. ..Basically anything goes as long as 
it's legal! Open your mind & see what falls out. Also Flash 
animations/movies/cartoons/3D rendered short films. 
pbtv2@ yahoo.com; http://members.xoom.com/pbtv2/ 

SHORT CIRCUIT is a monthly showcase of short films & 
videos produced by Films Arts Foundation. The series 
screens monthly at the Minna St. Gallery. No submissions 



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Jennifer Brown 

Assistant Vice President 

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a nonprofit media arts center 




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COURSES 
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deadline. Considering works on all subjects & in all genres. 
Films & videos (16mm & 3/4", previews on VHS) must be 
under 45 min. to be considered. Short Circuit pays $2/min. 
& covers all shipping costs. Preview tapes can't be 
returned. Contact: fax: (415) 552-0882; festival@fil- 
marts.org; www.filmarts.org 

SHORT TV is the only cable network entirely dedicated to 
Short Films, produced & directed by today's emerging inde- 
pendent filmmakers. Short TV broadcasts in New York City, 
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia & Detroit 
to around 2 million households. To submit your film visit 
www.shorttv.com; for more info, call: (212) 226-6258. 

UNQUOTE TV: 1/2 hr nonprofit program dedicated to expos- 
ing innovative film & video artists, seeks ind. works in all 
genres. Seen on over 60 cable systems nationwide. Send 
submissions to; Unquote TV, c/o DUTV, 3141 Chestnut St. 
Bldg. 9B Rm. 406, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (215) 895- 
2927; fax: 895-1054. dutv@.drexel.edu ; www.libertynet. 
org/dutv 

VIDEO LOUNGE seeks short animation, experimental or doc 
videos for on-going screening series. We do not accept nar- 
rative or works made on film. We are currently searching for 
int'l videos for an upcoming series in the spring, please 
contact us for further info. Send non-returnable VHS tape 
w/ brief bio & $1 to: Video Lounge, Box 1220, New York, NY 
10013; info@videolounge.org; www.videolounge.org 

WORLD OF INSANITY looking for videos & films to air on 
local cable access channel, particularly anything odd, 
bizarre, funny, cool. Any length. One hr weekly show w/ 
videos followed by info on makers. Send VHS/S-VHS to: 
World of Insanity, Box 954, Veneta, OR 97487; (541) 935- 
5538. 

ZDTV-2ND ANNUAL CAM FILM FESTIVAL This unique film 
festival allows people to submit their own short homemade 
digital movies using personal equipment such as video 
cameras or small digital web cameras known as netcams. 
Anyone can participate & may submit their work at 
www.zdtv.com/camfest. Cats: humor, special effects, fic- 
tion, doc, ZDTV network promotions & a college cinema cat. 
Deadline: March 31. 

ZOOM: During the 70s, ZOOM was a kids'-only series on 
PBS, featuring kids' plays, films, games & more. ZOOM is 
back & seeking films, animations & videos made by kids 
(some adult supervision okay). Every kid who sends some- 
thing will receive a free newsletter filled w/ fun activities & 
you may see your film on TV. Length: up to 3 min. Format: 
3/4", VHS, Hi8, S-8, 16mm, Beta. Age: 7-16. Subjects 
should be age appropriate. Contact: Marcy Gardner, 
WGBH/ZOOM, 125 Western Ave., Boston, MA 02134; (617) 
300-3883; marcy_gardner@wgbh.org 

Publications 

1998 LIBRARY OF AFRICAN CINEMA: resource guide 
released by California Newsreel. Includes 40 African pro- 
duced feature films, docs & TV productions. 48-page guide 
avail, at no charge from: California Newsreel, 149 Ninth St, 
San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 621-6196; fax: 621-6522; 
newsreel@ix.netcom.com; www.newsreel.org 



DATABASE & DIRECTORY OF LATIN AMERICAN FILM & 
VIDEO organized by Int'l Media Resources Exchange seeks 
works by Latin American & U.S. Latino ind. producers. To 
send work or for into: Karen Ranucci, LAVA, 124 
Washington PL, New York, NY 10014; (212) 463-0108. 

FILMMAKER'S RESOURCE: Watson-Guptill Guide to work- 
shops, conferences, artists' colonies & academic programs 
by Julie Mackaman. A veritable "supermarket of great 
opportunities-more than 150 of them-for a wide variety of 
filmmakers . . . from feature to doc to educational to ani- 
mated films." Contact: Watson-Guptill, 1515 Broadway, 
New York, NY 10036. 

QUEER PUBLIC ACCESS TV PRODUCERS: Author seeks 
public access show tapes by/for/about gay, lesbian, bi, 
drag, trans subjects, for inclusion in an academic press 
book on queer community programming. All program gen- 
res welcome. Incl. info about your program's history & dis- 
tribution. Send VHS tapes to: Eric Freedman, Asst. 
Professor, Comm. Dept, Florida Atlantic Univ., 777 Glades 
Rd., Boca Raton, FL 33431; (561) 297-3850; efreedma® 
fau.edu 

THE SQUEALER, quarterly journal produced by Squeaky 
Wheel puts upstate NY spin on media-related subjects. 
Once a year, The Squealer publishes "State of the State," a 
comprehensive resource issue w/ detailed info on upstate 
media arts organizations, access centers, schools & coali- 
tions. Subscriptions $15/ year. Contact: Andrea Mancuso, 
Squeaky Wheel, 175 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14201; 
www.freenet.buffalo.edu/sigs/links/squeaky/org.htm 

Resources & Funds 

8xlOGLOSSY.COM: Free Internet listing & email address for 
all actors technicians & organizations. On-line artists' co- 
op offers free listing in their Directory & Searchable 
Database, free email address (can even be forwarded by 
fax or letter), free use of Bulletin Board. SASE to Jim Lawter, 
37 Greenwich Ave, #1-6, Stamford, CT 06902; 
www.8xl0glossy.com 

BUCK HENRY SCREENWRITING SCHOLARSHIP: two $500 
scholarships to support work of students enrolled in 
screenwriting course of study. Sold or optioned scripts inel- 
igible. Contact: American Film Institute (213) 856-7690. 



AIVF ON-LINE 

Find back issues of The Independent, 

advocacy reports & updates on AIVF events, 

along with bulletin boards, AIVF member 

salons, and databases. Check it out: 

WWW.AIVF.ORG 



50 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



CA CCH MEDIA PROGRAM PLANNING GRANTS provide up 
to $750 to support development of major grant proposal & 
to pay for background research, consultations w/ humani- 
ties scholars & community reps., travel & similar activities 
necessary to develop proposal. Before applying, consult w/ 
CA Council for the Humanities staff. Deadlines: Feb. 1 & 
Aug. 1. Contact: CCH, 312 Sutter St., Ste. 601, San 
Francisco, CA 94108; (415) 391-1474; in LA (213) 623- 
5993; in San Diego (619) 232-4020; www.calhum.org 

CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL offers various grants & pro- 
grams for performing arts. Contact: CA Arts Council, 1300 I 
St, Ste. 930, Sacramento, CA 95814; (916) 322-6555; 
(800) 201-6201; fax: (916) 322-6575; cac@cwo.com; 
www.cac.ca.gov. 

CITIZEN CINEMA, INC.: 501[c]3, nonprofit arts education 
organization dedicated to promoting the art of filmmaking, is 
planning to establish filmmaking workshops in high schools 
& is looking for donations of used 16mm cameras, sound, 
lighting & editing equipment, computer notebooks & screen- 
writing software in good working order. Donations of equip- 
ment are gratefully accepted & tax deductible. Contact: Dan 
Blanchfield, Exec. Director, (201) 444-9875. 

CREATIVE PROJECT GRANTS: Subsidized use of VHS, inter- 
format & 3/4" editing suite for ind. creative projects. Doc, 
political, propaganda, promotional & commercial projects 
not eligible. Editor/instructor avail. Video work may be done 
in combination w/ super 8, Hi8, audio, performance, pho- 
tography, artists, books, etc. Studio incl. Amiga, special 
effects, A&B roll, transfers, dubbing, etc. Send SASE for 
guidelines to: The Media Loft, 463 West St., #A628, New 
York, NY 10014; (212) 924-4893. 

EASTMAN SCHOLARS PROGRAM: Colleges & Univs. in U.S. 
& Canada which offer a BA/BS/BFA, MA/MA/MFA in film or 
film production may nominate two students for $5,000 
scholarships. Deadline: June 15. For nomination form, write 
to Betsy A. McLane, Int'l Doc. Association, 1551 S. 
Robertson Blvd., Ste. 201, Los Angeles, CA 90035. 

EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION CENTER Finishing Funds 2000 
deadline March 15 as well as other grants & presentation 
funds to electronic media/film artists & organizations. 
Program provides partial assistance; max. amount varies. 
Presentations must be open to public; limited-enrolment 
workshops & publicly supported educational institutions inel- 
igible. Appl. reviewed monthly. Deadline: on-going. Contact: 
Program Dir., Experimental TV Center, 109 Lower Fairfield 
Rd., Newark Valley, NY 13811; (607) 687-4341.www. 
experimentalWcenter.org 

FUND FOR JEWISH DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING offers 
grants up to $50,000 for production/completion of original 
films & videos that interpret Jewish history, culture & iden- 
tity to diverse public audiences. Applicants must be U.S. 
citizens or permanent residents. Priority given to works-in- 
progress that address critical issues, combine artistry & 
intellectual clarity, can be completed within one year of 
award & have broadcast potential. Deadline: April 4. 
Contact: Natl Foundation for Jewish Culture, 330 7th Ave., 
12th fl., NY, NY 10001; (212) 629-0500 x. 205. 

IDA/DAVID L. WOLPER STUDENT DOCUMENTARY 
ACHIEVEMENT AWARD is a $1,000 honorarium presented 



annually to recognize exceptional achievement in nonfiction 
film & video at university level. Films & videos must be pro- 
duced by registered students & completed between 1/1/99 
& 4/30/00. Winner is honored at 15th Annual IDA Awards 
Gala on Oct. 29, has film screened at Docufest on Oct. 30 
& receives $1,000 certificate from Eastman Kodak for film 
stock. Deadline: June 15. Contact: IDA Awards, 1551 S. 
Robertson Blvd., Ste. 201, L.A., CA, 90035; (310) 284- 
8422; fax: 785-9334; ida@artnet.net 

INDEPENDENT TELEVISION SERVICE considers proposals 
for new, innovative programs & limited series for public TV 
on on-going basis. No finished works. New initiative, DV99, 
announced, where ITVS seeks 30 & 60 min. digital video 
projects shot w/ budgets of up to $125,000. New produc- 
tions or works-in-progress okay. Deadline: Oct. 15, 2000. 
For all queries, contact: ITVS, 51 Federal St., Ste. 401, San 
Francisco, CA 94107; (415) 356-8383; www.itvs.org 

JOHN D. & CATHERINE T. MACARTHUR FOUNDATION pro- 
vides partial support to selected doc series & films intend- 
ed for nat'l or int'l broadcast & focusing on an issue w/in 
one of Foundation's two major programs (Human & 
Community Development; Global Security & Sustainability). 
Send prelim. 2- to 3-page letter to: Alyce Myatt, John D. & 
Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, 140 S. Dearborn St., 
Ste. 1100, Chicago, IL 60603; (312) 726-8000; 
4answers@macfdn.org; www.macfdn.org 

MATCHING GRANT FOR RESTORATION offered by VidiPax. 
VidiPax will match 20% of funding received from govt., foun- 
dation, or corporate funding agency. Individual artists need 
nonprofit fiscal sponsorship to apply. Video & audiotape 
restoration must be performed at VidiPax. Contact: Dara 
Meyers-Kingsley, (212) 563-1999 x. 111. 

MEDIA ALLIANCE INDEPENDENT RADIO/SOUND ART 
FELLOWSHIP provides production support for individual 
artists working in the independent radio or sound art disci- 
pline. Three fellowships of $5,000 each will be awarded. 
Applicants must be working/living within the five boroughs 
of New York City. Grant made possible by Jerome 
Foundation. Applies avail. March. Deadline: May 15 (post- 
marked). Contact: Rachel Melman at Media Alliance (212) 
560-2919. Media Alliance, c/o WNET, 450 West 33rd St, 
NY, NY 10001; www.mediaalliance.org; audiogrant@ 
hotmail.com 

NAATA provides funding for independent productions of new 
Asian American programs for public television. NAATA will 
give awards ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 for produc- 
tion only. Deadline is June 2 (receipt not postmark). NAATA 
Media Fund, 346 9th St. 2nd fl., San Francisco, CA 94103; 
(415) 863-0814; mediafund@naatanet.org 



VOLUNTEER AT AIVF! 

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NEW DAY FILMS: premiere distribution cooperative for social 
issue media, seeks energetic independent film & videomak- 
ers w/ challenging social issue documentaries for distrib. to 
nontheatrical markets. Now accepting applications for new 
membership. Contact: New Day Films 22D Hollywood Ave., 
Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ 07423; (415) 332-7172; www.newday.com 

NEWENGLANDFILM.COM is a unique online resource that 
provides local film & video professionals w/ a searchable 
Industry Directory, listings of local events, screenings, jobs, 
calls for entries & upcoming productions, in addition to 
filmmaker interviews & industry news. Reaching over 
1 1,000 unique visitors each month. All articles & listings on 
the sites are free to read: www.nefilm.com 

NEXT WAVE FILMS: funded by the Independent Film 
Channel, offers finishing funds & other vital support to 
emerging filmmakers. Focus is on English language, fea- 
ture-length films (fiction or non-fiction) that will be 
released theatrically. Contact: Next Wave Films, 2510 7th 
St., Ste. E, Santa Monica, CA 90405; (310) 392-1720; fax: 
399-3455; launch@nextwavefilms.com; www.nextwave- 
films.com 

NYS COUNCIL ON THE ARTS Individual Artists Program 
announces the availability of production funds for video, 
radio, audio, installation work & computer-based art. 
Maximum award is $25,000. Artist must also be sponsored 
by a nonprofit organization. Deadline: March 1. For applica- 
tion, contact Don Palmer: NYSCA, 915 Broadway, 8th fl., 
New York, NY 10010; (212) 387-7063; dpalmer@nysca.org 

OCTOBER EVENT GRANTS: NY Council for the Humanities 
celebrates State Humanities Month (Oct. '00) a celebration 
of history, culture & human imagination w/ awards for local 
programming which reflect diversity of humanities institu- 
tions & subjects. Deadline: May 1. Contact: NYCH, 150 
Broadway, Ste. 1700, NY, NY 10038; (212) 233-1131; fax: 
233-4607; hum@echonyc.com; www.culturefront.org 

OPPENHEIMER CAMERA: new filmmaker grant equip, pro- 
gram offers access to professional 16mm camera system for 
first serious new productions in dramatic, doc, exp, or narra- 
tive form. Purely commercial projects not considered. 
Provides camera on year-round basis. No applic. deadline, 
but allow 10 week min. for processing. Contact: Film Grant, 
Oppenheimer Camera, 666 S. Plummer St., Seattle, WA 
98134; (206) 467-8666; fax: 467-9165; filmgrant@ 
oppenheimercamera.com 

PACIFIC ISLANDERS IN COMMUNICATIONS Media Fund 
provides the impetus for increasing awareness and under- 
standing of the cultural diversity of Pacific Islanders. For 
the purpose of this open call, PIC defines Pacific Islanders 
as descendants of the first peoples of Hawai'i, Guam, the 
Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa and other 
indigenous Pacific Islanders. PIC funds will provide media 
makers the opportunity to create television programs that 
bring a new perspective, quality and quantity of Pacific 
Islander programs to national public television audiences. 
Deadline: late May. For guidelines and application contact: 
Ann Moriyasu, Programming Director, PIC, 1221 Kapi'olani 
Blvd., Suite 6A-4, Honolulu, HI, 96814; (808) 591-0059; 
piccom@aloha.net; moriyasu@aloha.net; www.piccom.org 

PACIFIC PIONEER FUND offered by Film Arts Foundation to 



doc filmmakers living in CA, OR & WA. Limited to orgs certi- 
fied as public charities, which control selection of individual 
recipients & supervise their projects. Grants range from 
$l,000-$8,000 w/ approx. $75,000 awarded annually. 
Deadlines: May 15 & Oct. 1. For proposal summary sheet, 
send SASE to: Film Arts Foundation, 346 9th St., 2nd fl., San 
Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 454-1133; www.pacificpioneer 
fund.com 

PANAVISION'S NEW FILMMAKER PROGRAM provides 
16mm camera pkgs. to short, nonprofit film projects of any 
genre, incl. student thesis films. Send SASE w/ 55tf stamp to: 
Kelly Simpson, New Filmmaker Program, Panavision, 6219 
DeSoto Ave., Woodland Hills, CA 91367. 

PAUL ROBESON FUND FOR INDEPENDENT MEDIA solicits 
projects addressing critical social & political issues w/ goal 
of creating social change. Funding for radio projects in all 
stages of prod.; film & video projects in preproduction or 
distribution stages only. Grants range from $3,000-$8,000. 
Deadline: May 15. Contact: Viviana Bianchi, Program 
Officer, The Funding Exchange, 666 Broadway, #500, NY, 
NY 10012; (212) 529-5300. 

SOROS DOCUMENTARY FUND supports int'l doc films & 
videos on current & significant issues in human rights, free- 
dom of expression, social justice & civil liberties. Two pro- 
ject categories' initial seed funds (grants up to $15,000), 
and projects in production or post (average grant $25,000, 
but max. $50,000). Highly competitive. For info.: Soros 
Documentary Fund. Open Society Institute. 400 W. 59th St., 
NY, NY 10019; (212) 548-0657; www.soros.org/sdf 

SPECIAL ASSISTANCE GRANTS offered by the Illinois Arts 

Council. Matching funds of up to $1,500 to Illinois artists for 
specific projects. Examples of activities funded are registra- 
tion fees & travel for conferences, seminars, workshops; 
consultants' fees for the resolution of a specific artistic prob- 
lem; exhibits, performances, publications, screenings; mate- 
rials, supplies or services. Funds awarded based on quality 
of work submitted & impact of proposed project on artist's 
professional development. Applications must be received at 
least 8 weeks prior to project starting date. Call for availabil- 
ity of funds. Illinois Arts Council, 100 W. Randolph, Suite 10- 
500, Chicago, IL 60601; (312) 814-6570 toll-free in IL (800) 
237-6994; www.iinfo@arts.state.il.us 

STANDBY PROGRAM provides artists & nonprofits access 
to broadcast quality video postproduction services at 
reduced rates. For guidelines & appl. contact: Standby 
Program, Box 184, NY, NY 10012-0004; (212) 219-0951; 
fax: 219-0563; www.standby.org 

TECHNOLOGY OPPORTUNTIES PROGRAM, National 
Telecommunications & Information Administration. TOP 
promotes the development, widespread avail., & use of 
advanced telecommunications & information technolo- 
gies to serve public interest. Fiscal 2000 appl. kits are 
now avail. Deadline March 16. TOR NTIA, US Dep. of 
Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave., NW, HCHB, Rm. 
4092, Washington, DC 20230; (202) 482-2048; 
top@ntia.doc.gov; www.ntia.doc.gov/ 

VOLUNTEER LAWYERS FOR THE ARTS offer seminars on 
"Copyright Basics," "Not-for-profit Incorporation & Tax 
Exemption" & more. Reservations must be made: (212) 
319-2910. 



52 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



CONTACT: [scott@aivf.org] DEADLINES: 1ST OF EACH 

month, 2 months prior to cover date (e.g. april 
1 for june issue). classifieds of up to 240 char- 
acters (incl. spaces & punctuation) cost 
s25/issue for aivf members, $35 for nonmem- 
bers; 240-480 characters cost $45/issue for 
members, $65 for nonmembers; 480-720 char- 
acters cost s60/issue for members, $90 for 
nonmembers. include valid member id#. ads 
exceeding requested length will be edited. all 
copy should be typed and accompanied by a 
check or money order payable to: fivf, 304 
hudson st., ny, ny 10013. to pay by credit card, 
include: card type (visa/mc); card number; 
name on card; expiration date; billing address 
& daytime phone. ads running 5+ times receive 
$5 discount per issue. 

Buy • Rent • Sell 

DP w/ Canon XL-1. Beta-SP deck rental avail. I shoot all 
formats: film/video. Non-linear editing w/ all video formats. 
12 yrs exp w/ Academy Award nomination. Affordable 
rates. DMP Productions (212) 967-1667; www.members. 
tripod.com/~dmpfilm 

DV DECK FOR RENT from $60/day. Use as source machine 
for non-linear editing or to make digital-to-digital Firewire 
dubs (back up those masters!). Also rent DV cameras. 
Delivery available; (718) 398-3750. 

FOR RENT: OFF-LINE AVID We will beat any price either in 
your space or our beautiful, spacious, and comfortable 
Chelsea location on West 27th St. Avid 400, Beta deck, 
36GB storage. Free cappucino. Call (212) 579-4294. 

FOR RENT: Sony 3 chip Digital DV Cam Camera, plus light 
set, tripod & sound equipment. Negotiable rathes both 
short & long term rentals. Please call (917) 549-5456. 

FOR RENT: SONY 3-CHIP DIGITAL CAMERA (DCR- 
VX1000). Also available: mike, light & tripod. Negotiable 
rates for both short & long-term rentals. Please call (718) 
284-2645. 

FOR SALE: 3-deck 3/4" JVC 850-600 tc editing system with 
"live" A-B cutting. Comes with Abner controller & assorted 
cables, mixer, monitors, etc. Best offer over $3,000 taken. 
Special break for NYC residents. J. Godmilow (219) 631-7167. 

FOR SALE: Panasonic AGEZ1 miniDV Camcorder, 3 chip. 
Batteries. $1,800. Call (203) 226-8313. 

SOHO AUDIO RENTALS: Time code dats, RF diversity mics, 
playback systems, pkgs. Great rates, great equipment & 
great service. Discounts for AIVF members. Larry (212) 
226-2429; sohoaudio@earthlink.net 

VIDEO DECKS/EDIT SYSTEMS/CAMERAS FOR RENT: I 

Deliver! Beta-SP Deck (Sony UVW-1800) $150/day, 
$450/wk. DV deck $150/day. S-VHS off-line edit system 
$450/wk. Sony DVCAM 3-chip camera $125/day. Lights, 
tripods, mics & mixers. David (212) 362-1056. 

WANNA SHOOT UNDERCOVER? Rent a broadcast quality 
Digital Video hidden camera system for only $250/day. Use 
as a Purse Cam, Shirt Cam, or Tie Cam. Used by HBO & all 
the networks. Call Jonathan, Mint Leaf Productions (718) 
499-2829. 



Distribution 

16 YEARS AS AN INDUSTRY LEADER! Representing out- 
standing video on healthcare, mental health, disabilities & 
related issues. Our films win Oscars, Emmys, Duponts, 
Freddies & more. Join us!. Fanlight Productions: (800) 937- 
4113; www.fanlight.com 

A+ DISTRIBUTOR since 1985 invites producers to submit 
quality programs on VHS w/ SASE for distributor consider- 
ation. Mail to Chip Taylor Communications; 15 Spollett Dr., 
Derry, NH 03038; www.chiptaylor.com 

AQUARIUS HEALTH CARE VIDEOS: Award-winning distrib- 
utor of outstanding videos because of outstanding produc- 
ers. Join our collection of titles on disabilities, mental 
health, aging, nursing, psychosocial issues, children & teen 
issues. For educational/health markets. Leslie Kussmann, 

5 Powderhouse Lane, Sherborn, MA 01770; (508) 651- 
2963; www.aquariusproductions.com 

ATA TRADING CORP., actively & successfully distributing 
independent products for over 50 yrs., seeks new program- 
ming of all types for worldwide distribution into all markets. 
Contact: (212) 594-6460; fax 594-6461. 

BUYINDIES.COM Filmmakers & distributors call sell their 
films at Buylndies.com — an online community to buy & sell 
indie films. Easily add your films to the Buylndies.com cat- 
alog and create a free customized web store for your own 
site. Already over 50,000 titles have been gathered for the 
catalog. To find out more, go to www.buyindies. 
com/sell/ All genres, filmmakers welcome! We sell to both 
regular consumers and institutional buyers & will sell any 
format: DVD, VHS, 16mm, etc. Further details at www. 
buyindies.com or info@buyindies.com 

CHOICES, distributor of World Almanac Video and Choices 
Video, is looking for completed quality documentaries and 
films for distribution. Contact: Choices, Inc., 369 S. Doheny 
Drive, PMB 1105, Beverly Hills, CA 90211; (310) 358-0885. 

HUMAN RELATIONS MEDIA, a leader in distributing edu- 
cational materials for over 25 years, is now looking for new 
video & film productions to be included exclusively in its 
2000 catalog. HRM is specifically acquiring programs that 
deal w/teen drug abuse, sexuality, relationships, smoking 

6 violence. All content should be appropriate for classroom 
use. Please submit your production on VHS w/ a letter 
describing any prior distribution, reviews & awards. Only 
videotapes w/ SASEs will be returned. Send to: Human 
Relations Media, Attn: Creative Director, 41 Kensico Dr., 
Mt. Kisco, NY 10549. Visit us online at www.hrmvideo.com 

INTERNET DISTRIBUTOR seeks quality independent films 
for home video and other sales. We offer producers a sig- 
nificant piece of the gross, based on rights package. Check 
our web site for details and submission info: www.indie- 
underground.com 

LOOKING FOR AN EDUCATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR? Consider 
the University of California. We can put 80 years of suc- 
cessful marketing expertise to work for you. Kate Spohr: 
(510) 643-2788; www-cmil.unex.berkeley.edu/media/ 

SEEKING EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS on guidance issues such 
as violence, drug prevention & parenting for exclusive dis- 
tribution. Our marketing gives unequaled results. Call Sally 
Germain at The Bureau tor At-Risk Youth: (800) 99-YOUTH 
x. 210. 



THE CINEMA GUILD, leading film/video/multimedia distrib, 
seeks new doc, fiction, educational & animation programs 
for distribution. Send videocassettes or discs for evaluation 
to: The Cinema Guild, 1697 Broadway, Ste. 506, NY, NY 
10019; (212) 246-5522; TheCinemaG@aol.com. Ask for 
our Distribution Services brochure. 

Freelancers 

35MM / 16MM PROD. PKG w/ cinematographer. Complete 
studio truck w/ DP's own Am 35BL, 16SR, HMIs, dolly, jib 
crane, lighting, grip, Nagra . . . more. Ideal 1-source for the 
low-budget feature! Call Tom today for booking (201) 741-4367. 

A LEGACY PRODUCTIONS, renowned documentarians for 
HBO et al., now offers video production/post services. 
Beta/Digital/Hi-8 formats & state-of-art non-linear editing 
at ridiculously fair rates. Steve (212) 807-6264; 
mani@interport.net 

AATON CAMERA PKG. Absolutely perfect for independent 
features. Top of the line XTR Prod w/ S16, time code video, 
the works! Exp DP w/ strong lighting & prod skills wants to 
collaborate in telling your story. Andy (212) 501-7862; 
circa@interport.net 

ACCLAIMED AND UNUSUAL instrumental band can provide 
music for your next project. Contact "Magonia" for demo: 
(781) 932-4677; boygirl@mediaone.net; www.magonia.com 

ACCOUNTANT/BOOKKEEPER/CONTROLLER: Experience in 
both corporate & nonprofit sectors. Hold MBA in Marketing 
& Accounting. Freelance work sought. Sam Sagenkahn 
(212) 481-3576. 

ANDREW DUNN, Director of Photography/camera operator 
Arri35 BL3, Aaton XTRprod S16, Sony DVCAM. Experience in 
features, docs, TV & industrials. Credits: Dog Run, Strays, 
Working Space/Working Light. (212) 477-0172; 
AndrewD158@aol.com 

AVID SUITE: AVR 77 with or without experienced editor. 
Available for long term or short term projects. Comfortable 
room with large windows, sofa and 24hr. access. Please 
contact Andre at Viceroy Films: (212) 367-3730. 

AWARD-WINNING EDITOR available, with own broadcast- 
quality Media 100. Will negotiate affordable rates for worth- 
while projects. Also 7 years Avid experience on docs & 
shorts. Call (917) 548-5989. 

AWARD-WINNING EDITOR, w/ Avid and Beta SP facility. 
Features, shorts, doc, music videos, educational, industri- 
als, demos. Trilingual: Spanish, English, Catalan. Nuria 
Olive-Belles (212) 627-9256. 

BETA SP & DVCAM videographer with both cameras, 
lights, monitors, mics & wireless. Very portable, light 
weight & I'm fast. Experience includes: documentaries, in- 
dustrials, fundraisers & fashion. Please call John Kelleran 
(212)334-3851 

BETA SP VIDEOGRAPHER, skilled in everything from exte- 
rior hand held to Rembrandt interior lighting styles, seeking 
interesting projects to shoot. Has attractive Sony Betacam 
SR cool sets of lights & sensitive microphones. Willing to 
travel. Yitzhak Gol (718) 591-2760. 

BRENDAN C. FLYNT: Director of Photography w/ many fea- 
ture & short film credits. Owns 35 Arri BL3, Super 16/16 
Aaton, HMIs, Tungsten. & dolly w/ tracks. Awards at 



March AW THE INDEPENDENT 53 



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Sundance & Raindance. Call for quotes & reel at (212) 226- 
8417; www.dp-brendanflynt.com 

BROADCAST ENGINEER, 15 yrs. exp. Has Betacam SP 
location package. 3-chip mini DV. Looking to work on pro- 
jects. Michael (212) 691-1311. 

CAMERAPERSON: Visual storyteller loves to collaborate, 
explore diverse styles & formats. Brings passion & produc- 
tivity to your shoot. Award-winner w/ latest Super/ Std.16 
Aaton XTR Prod, package. Todd (718) 222-9277; 
wacass@concentric.net 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ reg/S-16mm Aaton, video-tap, 
lighting gear & more. Digital video too. Collaborations in fea- 
tures, shorts, doc's, music videos, & other compelling 
visions. Kevin Skvorak, reel & rates (718) 782-9179; 
kevskvk@inx.net 

COMPOSER Creative, productive, and diversified compos- 
er will work with you and your budget. Visit my web site for 
details, music samples, and info on buyout music CDs. 
Michael Hayes: (615) 329-2313 Ext 2227; www. 
michaelhayesmusic.com 

COMPOSER: Experienced, award-winning Yale conservato- 
ry grad writes affordable music in any style that will 
enhance your project. Save money without compromising 
creativity. Full service digital recording studio. FREE demo 
CD/intial consultation/rough sketch. Call Joe Rubenstein; 
(212) 242-2691; joe56@earthlink.net 

COMPOSER: MFA (NYU/Tisch) and extensive experience 
with theater, dance & Sundance filmmakers. Will work with 
any budget in styles ranging from classical to drum & bass 
to African-Hungarian jazz. Low budget services include dig- 
ital studio & live cello. Contact Raul Rothblatt (212) 254- 
0155; deblatt@interport.net 

COMPOSER Miriam Cutler loves to collaborate with film- 
makers — features, docs. Sundance: Licensed To Kill, 
Death A Love Story-, Peabody: The Castro-, POV: Double Life 
of Ernesto Gomez Gomez & more. (323) 664-1807; 
mircut@pacificnet.net 

COMPOSER: Original music for your film or video project. 
Credits include NYU film projects and CD. Will work with 
any budget. Complete digital studio. NYC area. Call Ian 
O'Brien: (201) 432-4705; iobrien@bellatlantic.net 

COMPOSER: Perfect music for your project. Orchestral to 
techno-you name it! Credits incl. NFL, PBS, Sundance, 
Absolut. Bach, of Music, Eastman School. Quentin 
Chiappetta (718) 752-9194; (917) 721-0058; qchiap@el.net 

COMPOSER: Award-winning, experienced, will creatively 
score your film/TV/video project in any musical style. 
Extensive credits include nationally released features, TV 
dramas, documentaries, animation, on Networks, MTV, 
Disney, PBS. Columbia MA in composition; full digital stu- 
dio; affordable. Demo reel available. Elliot Sokolov (212) 
721-3218; Elliotsoko@aol.com 

CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ lighting direc- 
tor background. Specialty films my specialty. Can give your 
film that unique "look." 16mm & 35mm packages avail. 
Call Charles for reel: (212) 295-7878. 

DIGITAL VIDEO— Sony VX100 digital camera & cameraman, 
Sennheiser ME 66 shotgun mic, pro accessories. Exper- 
ienced in dance, theater & performance art documentation. 
$150 a day plus tapes for documentations. Larger projects 



negotiable. Final Cut Pro digital editing with editor $25 per 
hour. John Newell (212) 677-6652; johnewell@earthlink.net 

DIGITAL VIDEO videographer/D.P, with Canon XL-1 video- 
cam; prefer documentaries, shorts and less traditional pro- 
jects; documentation for dance, music and performance. 
Alan Roth 718-218-8065; alanroth@mail.com 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Award winning, exp, look- 
ing for interesting projects. Credits incl. features, docs & 
commercials in the U.S., Europe & Israel. Own complete 
Aaton Super 16 pkg & lights. Call Adam for reel. (212) 932- 
8255 or (917) 794-8226. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY looking for interesting fea- 
tures, shorts, ind. projects, etc. Credits incl. features, com- 
mercials, industrials, short films, music videos. Aaton 
16/S-16 pkg avail. Abe (718) 263-0010. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Owner 16mm Aaton, plus 
35mm non-sync & hand-crank cameras. Experimental 
background; creative look. Shooting credits incl.: Features, 
shorts, promos, commercials & music videos. New York 
based, will travel. Carolyn (718) 930-7969. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ Beta SP production pkg., 
Sony VX-1000 digital camera, Bolex 16mm & Super 8mm 
cameras. Also lighting/grip equip. & wireless mics. Looking 
for interesting projects. Experienced. Reel available. Alan 
(212) 260-7748. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ complete Arn-Zeiss 
16mm pkg. Lots of indie film experience. Features, shorts 
and music videos. Save money and get a great looking film. 
Willing to travel. Rates are flexible and I work quickly. 
Matthew: (914) 439-5459 or (617) 244-6730. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ own 35mm sync sound 
Arriflex BLII avail. Beautiful reel, affordable rates. Crew on 
standby. Work incl. several features, shorts, music videos. 
Travel no problem. Dave (718) 230-1207; page (917) 953-1117. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/awards, talent, savvy & 
experience. Owned Aaton 16mm/Super 16mm pkg., 35mm 
package available. Call for my reel. Bob (212) 989-7992. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY with Am BL 3, Aaton XTR 
Prod S16/16mm, and Canon XL1 camera package is ready 
to shoot your project. Call Jay Silver at (718) 383-1325 for 
a copy of reel, email: hihosilver@earthlink.com 

DP w/ full postproduction support. Experienced film/video 
DP w/ 16:9 digital & 16mm film cameras, lighting/sound 
gear & complete nonlinear editing services. Call (212) 868- 
0028 Derek Wan, H.K.S.C. for reel & low "shoot & post" 
bundle rates. 

EDITOR AVAILABLE: experienced award-winning Avid edi- 
tor available to work on interesting and innovative pieces. 
Will work dirt cheap for the chance to be challenged (docs, 
shorts, features). Call Kevin (212) 591-0589. 

EDITOR: Award-winning director/editor, whose last film 
was selected by Cannes, seeks editing projects. Avid avail- 
able; (212) 352-4476. 

EDITOR WITH AVID: Conscientious advocate of the 
Invisible Cut. Comfy West Village space. AVR77. 144 gigs, 
Beta, VHS, DV. MC/Visa. Bill G. (212)243-1343, 
gcomvid@usa.net 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY: frequent contributor to 
"Legal Brief" columns in The Independent & other maga- 



54 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



zines, offers legal services to film & video community on 
projects from development thru distribution. Contact Robert 
L. Seigel, Esq., (212) 333-7000. 

EXPERIENCED CINEMATOGRAPHER with crew & equip- 
ment; 16mm & 35mm. Short films & features. Vincent 
(212) 779-1441. 

INNOVATIVE EDITOR w/ Avid available for challenging pro- 
jects. Experienced in fiction features, commercials, music 
video & documentary. Reel available. Rodney (718) 246-8235. 

JOHN BASKO: Documentary cameraman w/ extensive 
international Network experience. Civil wars in Kosovo, 
Beirut, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Tiananmen Square student 
uprising. Equipment maintained by Sony, tel: (718) 278- 
7869; fax: 278-6830; Johnbasko@aol.com 

LOCATION SOUND: Over 20 yrs sound exp. w/ time code 
Nagra & DAT, quality mics. Reduced rates for low-budget 
projects. Harvey & Fred Edwards, (518) 677-5720; cell: 
(917) 319-3365; edfilms@worldnet.att.net 

MEDIA 100 NONLINEAR EDITING: Latest software & fx. 
Beta SP & digital camera packages, full lighting & audio 
support gear. Steadicam & jib avail. Award-winning works. 
Reasonable rates. Pro Video Productions, Inc. (516) 366- 
2100; pvpprods@aol.com 

Opportunities & Gigs 

AGENT WANTED to represent heavily experienced video 
production group with extensive work done in commercial, 
industrial, documentary, news and animation areas. Full 
process. Natalie: (718) 332-2191; cell: (917) 674-4742. 

ANGELCITI FILM TOUR call for entries: Accepting submis- 
sions of films, videos & screenplays of all types for Market 
in LA and Festival Tour: (323) 461-4256. 

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR POSITION OPENING: Ohio 
University School of Telecommunications seeks experienced 
videomaker to teach in undergraduate program & contribute 
to graduate program. Additl areas might incl. new media, crit- 
icism, writing, audio prod., aesthetics, media history. Seeking 
idea-oriented individ, possessing excellent hands-on pro- 
duction skills. Program has a strong liberal arts foundation; 
video production sequence focuses on preparing thoughtful, 
creative producer/directors/videomakers rather than techni- 
cal specialists. Appointment: Assistant Professor, Tenure 
Track, beginning Sept. 1. Ph.D. or MFA preferred; ABD or MA 
w/ significant experience considered; outstanding production 
portfolio; teaching experience desirable. Responsibilities incl. 
teaching range of video production courses & other courses 
as assigned; working w/ students on ind. production projects 
& projects for Athens Video Works, student-operated produc- 
tion unit. Salary: competitive. Send resume, brief VHS sam- 
ple of work for which you had major creative responsibility & 
3 references to: Prof. Vibert Cambridge, Search Cttee Chair, 
School of Telecommunications, Ohio Univ., Athens, OH 
45701. Applicants reviewed from Jan 3. AA/EOE 

DEPT OF COMMUNICATION, William Paterson University, 
Hobart Hall, 300 Pompton Rd, Wayne, NJ, 25 miles from 
Manhattan, has tenure-track position open for the 2000-2001 
academic year in Film Studies & Film Production. Well-devel- 
oped program incl. 16mm instructional equipment for produc- 
tion and postproduction; now developing digital nonlinear 
postproduction technology in dept of more than 700 students. 
Responsibs incl teaching 16mm Film Production classes cov- 



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ering all aspects of filmmaking from basic to advanced, foun- 
dation & advanced lecture courses w/ emphasis on Cinema 
Studies & Film History approaches, and Screenwnting utiliz- 
ing both trad, and indep. approach to the screenplay. 
Applicants must have filmmaking & teaching experience, cur- 
rent record of prof ./creative work. Advanced degrees (MFA) or 
strong prof, credits in the field preferred. Applicants whose 
work has been recognized at nat'l/int'l level as exceptional 
accomplishments in the field of filmmaking but who lack pro- 
fessional advanced degree will be considered. Salary: com- 
petitive & commensurate with experience. Fax applic. to Dr. 
Tina Lesher, chair, at (973) 720-2483. Information is avail- 
able by contacting Dr. Lesher at (973) 720-3341. AA/EOE 

MEDIA STUDIES PROGRAM at Univ. of San Francisco invites 
applies for Media Artist-in-Residence. Renewable Term 
Faculty Position (non tenure-track) to be appointed initially 
for 1 yr. Successful applicant will be appointed at the Asst. 
or Assoc. Professor level, beginning Fall. Creative expertise 
may be in audio, video, or multi-media. Teaching responsi- 
bilities incl. 2 classes per semester. Classes may be offered 
in core Media Studies Curriculum (e.g. Video or Audio 
Production, Media & New Tech., Race & Ethnicity in Media) 
or special topics classes offered from the candidate's area of 
expertise. Position also involves supervising & working w/ 
students on significant media creative projects each semes- 
ter. Appls. should incl. short proposal for project(s) for 1st 
year. Qualifications: Univ. or college teaching experience, evi- 
dence of significant creative work, willingness to work in a 
culturally diverse environment & an understanding of & com- 
mitment to support the mission of the Univ. Submit a letter 
of appl., resume, evidence of recent creative work (e.g. 
VHS/CD/audio tape), statement of teaching philosophy, evi- 



dence of teaching ability incl. copies of teaching evaluations 
if avail. & 3 letters of recomm. to: Bernadette Barker- 
Plummer Chair, Media Studies Dept, Univ. of San Francisco, 
2130 Fulton St., San Francisco, CA 94117. Applies must be 
received by April 15 to ensure full consideration. Minority & 
women applicants particularly encouraged. AA/EOE. 

NY BASED Suitcase Productions seeking experienced Avid 
editors and assistant editors for factual programs, maga- 
zine series and travel programs. Send reels and resumes to 
307 7th Ave., Ste. 1607, NY, NY 10001, Attn: David. 

TENURE TRACK OR ONE-YEAR VISITING POSITION in 

Film, Video, Audio, and Scriptwnting. School of Film & 
Animation, Rochester Institute of Technology. Beginning 
September, 2000. Candidates should have expertise in 
minimum of two of above fields. Qualifications: MFA/Ph.D. 
& professional accomplishment in the field. Teaching expe- 
rience desirable. Rank and salary commensurate with 
experience. RIT is a university that values diversity. 
Applicant review begins March 1. Send letter of application, 
resume, list of 5 references, VHS portfolio to: Howard 
Lester, Chair, School of Film and Animation, Rochester 
Institute of Technology, 70 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, 
NY 14623; fax: (716) 475-7575; helpph@rit.edu 

TENURE TRACK POSITION OR ONE-YEAR VISITING POSI- 
TION in 2D and 3D Computer Animation in the School of Film 
and Animation, Rochester Institute of Technology beginning 
September. Candidates should have expertise in 2D & 3D 
computer and camera animation. Qualifications: MFA/Ph.D. 
degree plus professional accomplishment in the field. 
Teaching experience desirable. Rank & salary commensurate 
with experience. Candidates with ability to support school's 



commitment to cultural diversity, pluralism, and individual 
differences are strongly preferred. Application review will 
begin March 1. Send letter of application, resume, portfolio, 
and list of 5 references to: Howard Lester, Chair, School of 
Film and Animation, Rochester Institute of Technology, 70 
Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623; fax: (716) 475- 
7575; helpph® rit.edu; EOE/AA 

WELL-ESTABLISHED freelance camera group in NYC seek- 
ing professional cameramen and soundmen w/ solid 
Betacam video experience to work w/ our wide array of 
clients. If qualified contact COA at (212) 505-1911. Must 
have video samples/reel. 

Preproduction • Development 

BUDGETS/INVESTOR PACKAGE Experienced Line Producer 
will prepare script breakdowns, shooting schedules & 
detailed budgets. Movie Magic equipped. MC, Visa, Amex. 
Indie rates negotiable. Mark (212) 340-1243. 

INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION COMPANY offers produc- 
tion services and personnel including directors, producers 
and videographers with DV camera package in the U.S. and 
Europe. Pahni Inc. (718) 243-0775 or visit www.pahni.com 

PRODUCTION OFFICE: West 85th in NYC, fully wired all 
office equip, Beta, 3/4" dubbing, animation. Avid room as 
needed. Short or long-term. Dan (212) 501-7878 x. 222. 

SU-CITY PICTURES: The Screenplay Doctor, The Movie 
Mechanic: We provide screenplay/treatment/synopsis/ 
films-in-progress insight/analysis. Studio credentials 
include: Miramax & Warner Bros. Competitive rates. 
Brochure: (212) 219-9224; www.su-city-pictures.com 



llllllllll 




InternationallndieKINO 

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Welcome to 

International Independent Indiekino Film Festival. 

IIFF y2k will be held... 

It will make all independent film 
as important as commercial film. 

HFF-v2k opening 

date : June 19.2000 
Where : On the internet 
(An unprecedented event!!!) 

Indie films wanted 

When : Until May 15.2000 

Prize : Total US $ 15,000 

How to join : 

Format of exhibition copy:35mm. 16mm. video 

Format of submission tape(VHS only):NTSC 

Details can be found on www. 1 1 FF.org 

USA : A BSTRA C T studio 

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• ••■■■■■■■ 



56 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 




THE ASSOC I ATI OI 

VIDEO AND 



I OF INDEPENDENT 
FILMMAKERS 



About AIVF and FIVF 

Offering support for individuals and 
advocacy for the media arts field 
The Association of Independent Video 
and Filmmakers (AIVF) is a national 
membership organization of over 
5,000 diverse, committed opinionated 
and fiercely independent film and 
video makers. AIVF is supported by 
the Foundation for Independent 
Video and Film (FIVF), a 501(c)(3) 
nonprofit offering a broad slate of 
education and information programs. 

To succeed as an independent you 
need a wealth of resources, strong 
connections, and the best information 
available. Whether through the pages 
of our magazine, The Independent 
Film & Video Monthly, or through 
the organization raising its collective 
voice to advocate for important 
issues, AIVF preserves your 
independence while reminding you 
you're not alone. 

Here's what AIVF 
membership offers: 

J J FILM & VIDEO MONTHLY 

"We Love This Magazine!!" 
-UTNE Reader- 
Membership provides you with a 
year's subscription to The Independent 
Thought-provoking features, artist 
profiles, news, and regular columns on 
business, technical, and legal matters. 
Plus festival listings, distributor and 
funder profiles, funding deadlines, 



exhibition venues, and announcements 
of member activities, programs and 
services. Special issues highlight 
regional activity and focus on subjects 
including experimental media, new 
technologies, and media education. 
Business and non-profit members 
receive discounts on advertising as 
well as special mention in each issue. 

INSURANCE 

Members are eligible to purchase 
discounted personal and production 
insurance plans through AIVF 
suppliers, including health insurance 
and production plans tailored to the 
needs of low-budget mediamakers. 

TRADE DISCOUNTS 

Businesses across the country offer 
AIVF members discounts on equipment 
and auto rentals, stock and expendibles, 
film processing, transfers, editing, 
shipping, and other production 
necessities. Members also receive 
discounts on purchases of the AIVF 

I mailing list and classified ads in The 
Independent 

WORKSHOPS, PANELS, 
AND SEMINARS 

Special events covering the whole 
spectrum of current issues and 
concerns affecting the field, ranging 
from business and aesthetic to 
technical and political topics. 

INFORMATION 

Stay connected through www.aivf.org. 
Members are entitled to exclusive 
on-line services such as searchable 
databases and web-specific content 
published by The Independent 



We also publish a series of 
practical resource books on 
international festivals, distribution, 
and exhibition venues, offered at 
discount prices to members (see the 
other part of this insert for a list). 

With over 600 volumes, our 
office library houses information on 
everything from preproduction to 
sample contracts, tailored to the 
needs of the independent producer. 

COMMUNITY 

AIVF Regional Salons occur in cities 
across the country. These member- 
organized member-run get-togethers 
provide a unique opportunity for 
members and non-members alike to 
network exhibit, and advocate for 
independent media in their local 
area. To find the salon nearest you 
check The Independent or visit the 
salon section of the AIVF website. If 
you're interested in starting a salon 
in your area, ask for our startup kit! 

ADVOCACY 

Over the past 25 years AIVF has 
been outspoken in our efforts to 
preserve the resources and rights of 
independent mediamakers, as well as 
to keep the public abreast of the 
latest issues concerning our 
community. Recent activities have 
included a successful campaign to 
restore the short documentary Oscar 
category, and to keep DBS providers 
accountable to the public. Members 
receive periodic advocacy alerts, 
information on current issues and 
public policy, and the opportunity to 
add their voice to collective actions. 



MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES 

INDIVIDUAL/STUDENT MEMBERSHIP 

Includes: one year's subscription to The Independent • access to group insurance plans • discounts 
on goods and services from over 80 affiliated Trade Partners • on-line or over-the-phone information 
services • discounted admission to seminars and events • book discounts • classifieds discounts • 
advocacy action alerts • eligibility to vote and run for board of directors • members-only web services. 

SUPPORTING MEMBERSHIP 

All of the above benefits extended to two members of the same household except for the year's 

subscription to The Independent which is shared by both. 

BUSINESS & INDUSTRY/NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION MEMBERSHIP 

All the above benefits (except access to insurance plans) with 3 one-year subscriptions to 

The Independent • representative may vote and run for board of directors • discounts on display 

advertising • special mention in each issue of The Independent 



LIBRARY/UNIVERSITY SUBSCRIPTION 

Year's subscription to The Independent for multiple readers 



JOIN AIVF TODAY! 



MEMBERSHIP RATES Make checks payable to AIVF 
Individual □ $55/1 yr. □ $100/2 yrs. 

Supporting □ $95/1 yr. D $lS0/2 yrs. 

Student □ $35/1 yr. □ $60/2 yrs. 

(enclose copy of current student ID) 

Business & Industry D $150/1 yr. 

Non-profit Organization D $100/1 yr. 
LIBRARY/UNIVERSITY SUBSCRIPTION 

□ $75 domestic D $90 foreign 



MAILING- RATES 

Magazines are mailed second-class in the US 

□ First-class U.S. mailing - add $30 

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* Your additional contribution will help support programs of 
the Foundation for Independent Video and Film, a public, 
educational non-profit tax exempt under section 501(c)(3). 



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fax 



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Additional tax-deductible contribution to FIV 

(please make separate check payable to FIVF) 

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Mail to AIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6th fl NY, NY 10013; or charge by phone (212) 507-1400 x236, by fax 

(212) 463-5519, or via our website www.aivf.org. Your first issue of The Independent will arrive in 4-6 weeks. 









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based on offline and online editing schedules. AfterEffects, 
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the line system; broadcast quality; 32 gigs; Beta SP deck; 
tech support. Office w/ 24 hr access, full kitchen & beauti- 
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BRODSKY & TREADWAY Film-to-tape masters. Reversal 
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by Michelle Coe 

Most events take place at the AIVF Office: 304 Hudson St. 
(between Spring & Vandam) 6th fl., in New York City. 
Subways: 1, 9 (Houston St.); C, E (Spring St.); A (Canal St.). 

AIVF events REQUIRE advanced registration and 
prepayment. RSVPto the Events Hotline with Visa, AmEx, 
or Mastercard or mail a check or money order. (Your check 
must be received one week prior to event to reserve your 
seat.) Seats are sold on a first-come first-served basis. 
Waiting lists are taken for all programs. 

Due to space limitations, we will hold all reserved seats 
until 5 minutes before the event, upon which unclaimed 
seats will be given to walk-ins. 

The following details were being confirmed at presstime. 
Please visit our website: www.aivf.org or our Event 
Hotline: (212) 807-1400 x.301 for the latest information. 

/Viarch Events 

AFTER HOURS 

EXTENDED LIBRARY HOURS 

When: Every 1st Wed., 6-9 p.m. (March 1) 
Where: Filmmakers Resource Library, at AIVF 
Cost: free to members 6k nonmembers. 
No RSVP required. 

AIVF offers extended Resource Library Hours 
once a month for members as well as the gen- 
eral public. The Filmmakers Resource Library 
houses hundreds of titles — from essential direc- 
tories {The Hollywood Creative Directory, The 
CPB Directory, The Blu-Book, NYPG) to film 
history and biographies, along with back issues 
of trade magazines (Variety, Hollywood Reporter) 
and film publications (Res, Filmmaker, 
MovieMaker, along with 20 years of The 
Independent). After Hours is also the perfect 
time to pick up the latest version of the AIVF 
Member Benefits list, or ask questions about all 
membership gets you. 

AIVFATTHENYUFF 

TWO PANELS CO-SPONSORED BY INS0UND 

Wl\en: Sat. March 12 & Sun. March 13 
Where: Anthology Film Archives (32 Second 
Ave., NYC), Maya Daren Theater 




Cost: free to r* 
all. No 
reservations 
necessary, 
but space is 
limited so 
get there 

early ! Mr. Link says: "Don't Miss the 7th Annual 

New York Underground Film Festival!" 

For the second year in a row — because once is 
never enough — AIVF collaborates with the 
New York Underground Film Festival in a pre- 
sentation of panel discussions. 

Thanks for the Music: Navigating Music 
Rights (Saturday, March 12) 

Internet Distribution: What the Fuck's Up 
with This Online Shit? (Sunday, March 13) 

Details pending at presstime. Check out our 
website for more information including the 
who's who of participating panelists. 

MEET & GREET 

PAUL ROBESON FUND FOR INDEPENDENT MEDIA 

When: Tues., March 29, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Cost: Free to members/$10 general public 
RSVP: (212) 807-1400 x.301 

The Paul Robeson Fund for Independent 
Media supports the production of independent 
social-issue film and video and remains the only 
ongoing source of funding committed exclu- 
sively to this kind of media. The primary pur- 
pose of the Robeson Fund is to support inde- 
pendent media productions that are not only 
compelling politically and artistically, but 
which will also be used as tools for progressive 
social change activism and organizing. 

Media artists who are women, gay men, and 
lesbians, disabled or from communities of color 
or who have little recourse to other funding 
sources due to the controversial nature of their 
projects are particularly encouraged to apply. 
Find out more about the Robeson Fund and its 
umbrella foundation, The Funding Exchange, 
from Program Officer Viviana Bianchi. See 
Funder FAQ on p. 40 for more details. 




TECHSPEAK 

DEMO: FINAL CUT PRO 

When: Tues., March 21, 6:30 & 8 p.m. 
(Each session is 1 hour in length & limited to 
eight people.) 

Where: Outpost Digital (145 6th Ave at 
Spring St., penthouse suite, NYC) 
Cost: $10 (members only) 
RSVP: (212) 807-1400 x. 301 (RSVP early- 
space is extremely limited!) 

Back by popular demand, 
Evan Schectman will 
offer another demo of 
Final Cut Pro editing 
software at his postpro- 
duction studio. Find out 
why Final Cut Pro is 
becoming the choice of 
many in the world of desktop editing. This 
demo can be the "prequel" to Outpost's Final 
Cut Pro training seminar offered to members at 
a 10% discount. Come check it out! 

DOCUMENTARY DIALOGUES 

FICTIVE N0NFICTI0NS 

When: Wed. March 15, 6:30-8 p.m.; 
Wine & Goldfish reception follows. 
Cost: Free (members only) 
RSVP: (212) 807-1400 x.301 

Documentary Dialogues is a bi-monthly discus- 
sion group where AIVF nonfiction filmmakers 
tackle theoretical and philosophical issues of 
independent film- and videomaking, including 
often neglected issues of content and ethics. It's 
also a great way to meet your working peers! 

Our March program will examine meanings 
encoded in fictional work through the appro- 
priation of documentary forms. Discussion will 
center on the hows and whys of taking such an 
approach for works ranging from docudrama to 
political parody, as well as the impact such work 
has on an audience's faith in and respect for the 
veracity of non-fiction work. Small group dis- 
cussion will be followed by an informal wine 
and goldfish gathering. Space is limited, so 
RSVP early! 



58 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 




Short Fi 
Exhibited 



AIVF CO-SPONSORS 

Select Screenings at the Walter Reade 
Theatre, Presented by the Film Society of 
Lincoln Center. The Walter Reade Theatre is 
located at Lincoln Center, 165 W. 65th Street 
at Broadway in NYC. For more info, contact 
the Film Society of Lincoln Center box office at 
(212) 875-5600 or www.filmlinc.com 

March 3-8: "Film Comment's Most Important 
Films/Makers of the Nineties" includes NY 
premieres of new works by Von Trier, 
Kiarostami, and de Oliveira. AIVF members 
may attend for $5.50. Show card at box office. 

Coming in April 

AIVF CO-SPONSORS: 

PS2000 

PS 2000 brings 
shorts back to the 
big screen in 
style! Run by a 
collective of artists 
and executives from the worlds of film, video, 
art & design united on a mission to bring wider 
exposure to the world of shorts, PS (or Phat 
Shorts) 2000 presents four consecutive 
Mondays of innovative work emphasizing 
craftsmanship and community over competi- 
tion. The fifth edition of this New York-based 
festival continues that mission, as it brings a 
balance of festival favorites, diamond-in-the- 
rough discoveries, and tragically neglected odd- 
ities. For those New York-bound during the 
month of April, participation in this electric 
communion with the hottest little movies in 
town is highly recommended! 

AIVF will present panel discussions during 
the festival. (Details posted at our website and 
Events Hotline.) For more info: www.ps00.com 

MAESTRO TOUR PILOT PROJECT 

BUFFALO, NEW YORK 
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA 
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 

Over the next few months, AIVF and 
NAM AC (the National Alliance of Media Arts 
Centers) will implement a collaborative project 
we've dubbed the Media Arts Environmental 
Scanning Tour of Regional Organizations, or 
MAESTRO. MAESTRO provides a vehicle for 
our national organizations to stimulate and cel- 
ebrate regional media arts communities, while 
collecting data that will allow us to better 
address our services to the field. 

The MAESTRO program is a cluster of 
activities during which representatives of AIVF 




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NAMAC, and local organizations — along with 
working artists and the general public — will par- 
ticipate in formal focus groups, informal dia- 
logues, screenings, open studios, and technical 
workshops for both artists and organizations. As 
we go to press, MAESTRO is locking dates dur- 
ing April and May in New Orleans, Buffalo, and 
Los Angeles: three cities selected for our pilot 
project because each has a strong media arts cul- 
ture, yet faces a different set of systemic issues. 

It is our hope that the program will strength- 
en regional media arts communities through 
fostering new relationships within the commu- 
nity, drawing attention to the achievements of 
local artists, and providing training. 

For more information on the tour, visit 
www.aivf.org or contact maestro(5>aivf.org or 
(212) 807-1400 x. 232. 

AIVF/FIVF 
STRATEGIC PLANNING PROJECT 

For 25 years, AIVF and sister organization the 
Foundation for Independent Film have worked 
to support independent artists and advocate for 
the media arts field. Our achievements have 
preserved opportunities for producers working 
outside the mainstream, while our publications 
and programs provide essential resources for 
artists'. As a mature organization, we provide a 
place where a body of artists characterized by 
activism and professionalism intermingles with 
an evolving generation characterized by entre- 
preneurialship and experimentation. And we 
remain the only national resource dedicated to 
advocating the vital role of independent media 
artists in promoting diversity of vision in artis- 
tic, cultural, and social consciousness in larger 
society. 

We have seen vast changes over the past 
quarter century, many of which have been chart- 
ed in the pages of this publication. As AIVF 
enters the new millennium, it is clear that we 
must retool our organization to ensure that we 
remain vital and relevant within a new media 
arts landscape. To this end, AIVF is undertaking 
a comprehensive planning project, generously 
supported by the MacArthur Foundation. 

The first stage of this three-year project is a 
comprehensive survey of the status and issues 
of contemporary media artists. We will imple- 
ment this "independent census" through four 
avenues: 

• continued surveys of our membership 

• a survey of The Independent readership 

• focus groups to be held in various communi- 
ties across the country 

• collecting more in-depth profiles of a sample 
of our constituency 



In April, the AIVF Board of Directors will 
hold a retreat (underwritten by the LEF 
Foundation) dedicated to outlining the goals 
and tasks of this project. 

AIVF board and staff members are excited 
about this opportunity to reshape our organiza- 
tion, and proud of the endorsement provided 
by the MacArthur and LEF Foundations. 
Watch this space and our web site for evolving 
information; if you would like to provide input, 
email elizabeth@aivf.org. 



Call for 
nominations 

AIVF is marking the occasion of our 25th 
Anniversary with the establishment of the 
AIVF Hall of Valor: a recognition of 25 
people, places, or things that have made 
their mark on the independent media 
field through exemplary long-term contri- 
butions, groundbreaking work, or service 
to the community. 

A "career tribute" of sorts, the Hall of 
Valor is a place to not only recognize 
important figures in our community's his- 
tory, but to also provide perspective on 
the past quarter-century of "indepen- 
dence." This is not a "best filmmaker" 
list. Nominees need not be alive, need 
not be film- or videomakers, need not 
even be people: we are hoping to recog- 
nize a diverse group whose qualifications 
include innovation, service to the com- 
munity, historical importance, and valor. 

We invite AIVF members to nominate 
individuals or institutions for the Hall of 
Valor. Members may submit as few or as 
many nominations as they wish. 

Nominations may be made either online 
(www.aivf.org) or by mail (AIVF attn.: 
VALOR, 304 Hudson St. 6th Fl., New 
York, NY 10013), and must arrive at 
AIVF by Friday, March 31. Please include 
your name, membership number, and 
one sentence highlighting the achieve- 
ments of each of your nominees. 

Nomination submissions will be tallied 
then presented to an Awards panel made 
up of AIVF Board of Directors members, 
who will make the final selections. 
Honorees will be announced in June, and 
recognized at AlVF's 25th Anniversary 
celebration in the fall of 2000. 



60 THE. INDEPENDENT March 2000 



<E 



E) 



The AIVF Salons provide an opportunity for 
members to discuss work, meet other inde- 
pendents, share war stories, and connect 
with the AIVF community across the country. 
Be sure to contact your local Salon Leader to 
confirm date, time, and location of the next 
meeting! 

AIVF has resources to assist enthusiatic and 
committed members to start a salon in their 
area. Please call (212) 807-1400 x. 236 
for application materials. 

See the salons section at www.aivf.org 
for further information. 

Albany, NY: 

When: First Wednesday of each month, 6:30pm 

Where: Borders Books & Music, Wolf Rd. 

Contact: Mike Camoin (518) 489-2083; 

mike@videosforchange.com 

Austin, TX: 

When: Last Monday of each month, 7 pm 
Where: Yarbrough Library, 2200 Hancock Drive 
Contact: Rebecca Millner at (512) 388-7605; 
rlmillner@hotmail.com 

Atlanta, GA: 

When: Second Tuesday of the month, 7 pm 

Where: Redlight Cafe, Amsterdam Outlets 

off of Monroe Dr. 

Contact: Mark Wynns, IMAGE 

(404) 352-4225 x. 12; mark@imagefv.org, 

geninfo@imagefv.org 

Birmingham, AL: 

Contact: John Richardson, 
johnwr@mindspring.com 

Boston, MA: 

Contact: Fred Simon, (508) 528-7279; 
FSimon@aol.com 

Charleston, SC: 

When: Last Thursday of each month 6:30-8:45pm 

Where: Charleston County Library Auditorium, 

68 Calhoun St. 

Contact: Peter Paolini, (843) 805-6841; 

filmsalon@aol.com 

Cleveland, OH: 

Contact: Annetta Marion and Bernadette Gillota 
(216) 781-1755; AnnettaLM@aol.com, 
OhioIndieFilmFest@juno.com 

Dallas, TX: 

Contact: Bart Weiss, (214) 999-8999; 
bart@videofest.org 

Boulder, CO: 

Monthly activist screenings: 

When: Second Thursday of the month, 7 pm 

Where: Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice 

Center, 1520 Euclid Ave. 

Other events: Call for date and location. 

Contact: Jon Stout, (303) 442-8445; 

programming@fstv.org 



Lincoln, NE: 

When: 2nd Wednesday of the month, 5:30 pm 
Contact: Lori Vidlak, (402) 476-5422 or 
dot@inetnebr.com, 
www.lincolnne.com/nonprofit/nifp/ 

New Brunswick, NJ: 

Contact: Allen Chou (212) 904-1133; 
allen@passionriver.com; www.passionriver.com 

Palm Beach, FL: 

Contact: Dominic Giannetti, (561) 326-2668 or 
dgproductions@hotmail.com 

Portland, OR: 

Contact: Beth Harrington, (360) 256-6254; 
betuccia@aol.com 

Rochester, NY: 

Contact: Chuck Schroeder, (716) 442-8286; 

www.members.tripod.com/rochaivf/index.html 

San Diego, CA: 

Contact: Paul Espinosa, (619) 284-9811 or 
espinosa@electriciti.com 

Tampa, FL: 

Contact: Frank Mondaruli (813) 690-4416; 
rmondarl@tampabay.rr.com 

Tucson, AZ: 

Contact: Heidi Noel Brozek, 
bridge@theriver.com; Rosarie Salerno, 
destiny@azstarnet.com; or visit 
http://access.tucson.org/aivf/ 

Washington, DC: 

Contact: DC Salon hotline (202) 554-3263 x.4; 
sowande@bellatlantic.net 



AIVF 2000 
BOARD MEMBERS 

Doug Block 

DeeDee Halleck 

Vivian Kleiman 

Lee Lew-Lee 

Graham Leggat 

Rick Linklater 

Diane Markrow, president 

Jim McKay, chair 

Robb Moss, vice president 

Robert Richter, treasurer 

Valerie Soe, secretary 

Save the date: 

the Annual AIVF Members Meeting 

will be held June 16. 



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The Foundation for Independent Video and Film (FIVF), the educational affiliate 
of the Association for Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), supports a variety 

of programs and services for the independent 
media community, including publication of The 



ESSE '* - ^ « 



Independent and a series of resource publications, seminars and workshops, and informa- 
tion services. None of this work would be possible without the generous support of the 
AIVF membership and the following organizations: 



Academy Foundation 

The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation 

Forest Creatures Entertainment, Inc. 

Home Box Office 

Heathcote Art Foundation 

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation 



LEF Foundation 

Albert A. List Foundation, Inc. 

John D. and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation 

National Endowment for the Arts 

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs 

New York State Council on the Arts 



*357 



m 

NYSCA !"™"«." 

We also wish to thank the following organizational members: 

Business/Industry Members: CA: Action/Cut Seminars; Dinque Entertainment, Inc; Focal Point Systems, 
Inc.; Leonard Merrill Kurz Co.; Marshall/Stewart Productions, Inc.; No Justice Pictures; RJB Productions; 
Somford Entertainment; Vineyard Ventures; CO: BET Movies/Starz!3; Intrepid Film & Video Inc.; FL: Green 
Solutions; Thunder Head Productions; GA: Mark Morton; IL: Optimus; MA: CS Associates; MD: 
Imagination Machines; NC: Richard Ward; NJ: ABCD Productions LLC; Black Maria Film Festival; New 
Project.net; NY: All In One Promotions, Inc.; Arc International Entertainment Corp.; Asset Pictures; Bagel 
Fish Productions, Bee Harris Productions; Bluestocking Films, Inc.; Bravo Film And Video; The Bureau for At- 
Risk Youth; Catherine Carey; Elizabeth Carmody; Choices, Inc.; Cine EMod Inc.; Citystuff.com; Cypress Films 
Aleks Decarvalho; Dependable Delivery, Inc.; Dekart Video; Duart; DMZ Productions; DV8 Video Inc. 
Dynamism; Ericson Media Inc; The Filmworkers Club; Films for Educators; Fireballs Films, Ltd.; G Productions 
Golden Cinema Enterprises, Inc.; Harmonic Ranch; Historic Film Archive; Island Media International; Jr. 
Video; Julia John Music; Kitchen Cinema; Kitchen Sync Group, Inc.; LD Media Corp; Mad Mad Judy 
Middkmarch Films; Motion Picture Productions; NYT Television; Parallax Pictures, Inc.; Paul Dinatale Post 
Inc.; Pitch Productions, Inc.; Prime Technologies; Remez Corp; Sea Horse Films; The Shooting Gallery 
Streamedia Communications, Inc; Stuart Math Films Inc.; Toolbox Animation; Tribune Pictures 
Undergroundfilm.Com; WinStar Productions; Wolfen Productions; Wonder Entertainment; RI: AIDS 
FILMS— RI; TX: Graham Dorian, Inc.; PBLK Com, Inc.; Texas World Television; UT: Rapid Video, LLC; WA 
Amazon.com; Junk Empire Motion Pictures 

Nonprofit Members: AZ: University of Arizona; Women's Studies/Northern Arizona University; CA: 
Filmmakers Alliance; Film Arts Foundation; Film Studies/UC Berkeley; IFP/West; ITVS; Jewish Film Festival; 
KOCT; Media Fund California; UC/Media Resource Center; NAATA; NAMAC; Nat'l Educational Media 
Network; USC School of Cinema TV; University of California; CO: Center for the Arts; Denver Center for 
the Performing Arts; CT: Film Fest New Haven; GA: Image Film Video Center; HI: Aha Punana Leo; 
University of Hawaii IL: Art Institute of Chicago; Chicago Underground Film Festival; Columbia College; 
Community Television Network; Facets; MacArthur Foundation; Women In The Director's Chair; KY: 
Appalshop; MA: CCTV; Long Bow Group Inc; EEC Communications; Somerville Community TV; MD: 
Laurel Cable Network; MI: Ann Arbor Film Festival; MN: Bush Artist Fellowships; IFP/North; Intermedia 
Arts; Walker Arts Center; MO: Webster University Film Series; MS: 2nd Annual Magnolia Indie Festival; NC: 
Cucalorus Film Foundation; Doubletake Documentary Film Fest; NE: Nebraska Independent Film Project, 
Inc.; NY: AARP New York State; Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, Inc.; Audrey Cohen College; 
Center for New American Media; Cinema Arts Centre; Communications Society; Cornell Cinema; Creative 
Capital Foundation; Crowing Rooster Arts; Dyke TV Productions; Educational Video Center; Film Forum; Film 
Society of Lincoln Center; Film and Video Cener; Globalvision, Inc.; Guggenheim Museum SoHo; Irish 
American Film Foundation; John Jay High School; Manhattan Neighborhood Network; MOMA-Film; Museum 
of the American Indian; National Video Resources; New York Women In Film and Television; Open Society 
Institute/Soros Documentary Fund; Paper Tiger TV; Paul Robeson Fund/Funding Exchange; The Ross School 
Library; The Roth School Library; The Standby Program; Stony Brook Film Festival; Squeaky Wheel; 
SUNY/Buffalo Dept. Media Studies; SUNY Buffalo; SUNY College/Fredona; Third World Newsreel; Upstate 
Films, Ltd.; Women Make Movies; OH: Athens Center For Film & Video; City of Cleveland; Media Bridges 
Cincinnati; Ohio Independent Film Festival; Ohio University-Film; Wexner Center; OR: Communication Arts, 
MHCC; Northwest Film Center; PA: Carnegie Museum of Art; PA/Council On The Arts; Philadelphia 
Film/Video Association; Scribe Video Center; Univ. of the Arts; Temple Univ./Dept. of Media; RI: Flickers Arts 
Collaborative; RI School of Design/Film, Animation Dept; SC: South Carolina Arts Commission; TN: 
Nashville Independent Film Fest; TX: Austin Film Society; Austin Film Festival; Detour Film Foundation; 
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Southwest Alternate Media Project; Texas Film Commmission; U. of Texas 
Dept. Radio-TV- Film; Worldfest Houston; WA: 91 1 Media Arts. Center; Seattle Central Community College; 
WI: Madison Film Forum; India: Foundation for Universal Responsiblity; Mexico: Centro De Capacitacion 
Cinematografica 



62 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



The Millennium Campaign Fund is a 

3-year initiative to develop a $150,000 

cash re- 
serve fund 



mulennium 

Co.mi>a.ie;n Fi 



for the Foundation for Independent 
Video and Film by our 25th anniversary 
in the year 2000. Since its inauguration 
in 1997, we have raised more than 
$100,000. 

Our heartfelt thanks to all those who have so 
generously donated to the Millennium 
Campaign Fiend! 

Corporate/Government/ 
Foundation Contributors 

BET/Encore; District Cablevision; Home Box 
Office; New York State Oxincil on the Arts; 
Ovation; Washington DC Film Society. 

Honorary Committee Members 

(gifts of$5C0 or more) 

AIVF DC Salon; Ralph Arlyck, Timed 
Exposures; Peter Buck; Hugo Cassirer, Felix 
Films; Martha Coolidge; Linda & Bob Curtis; 
Jacob Burns Foundation, Inc.; Loni Ding; 
Jacqueline Donnet; Karen Freedman & Roger 
Weisberg; Julie Goldman, WinStar Productions; 
David Haas; Henry Hampton", Blackside, Inc.; 
Nik Ives; Bill Jersey, The Catticus Corporation; 
Richard Kaplan; Amie Knox; Deborah Kozee, 
C&S International Insurance Brokers; Leonard 
Merrill Kurz, Forest Creatures Entertainment; 
Richard Kylberg, Communicom; Tom LeGoff; 
Helaine & Sidney Lemer; Ruby Lemer; Peter 
Lewnes; Rick Linklater, Detour Film 
Foundation; Juan Mandelbaum; John Bard 
Manulis; Diane Markrow; Jim McKay, 
C-Hundred Film Corp.; Sheila Nevins; 
Elizabeth Peters; David & Sandy Picker; 
RE.M./Athens LLC; Barbara Roberts; James 
Schamus, Good Machine; Robert L. Seigel; Liza 
Vann Smith; Miranda Smith; Michael Stipe; 
Ann Tennenbaum; Tower Records/ 
Videos/Books; Walterry Insurance Co.; Marc N. 
Weiss & Nancy Meyer; Martin Wills, 
TCI/District Cablevision; Robert E. Wise; 
Susan Wittenberg; Lawrence Zicklin, Jewish 
Communal Fund. (*deceased) 

We also wish to thank the individuals and 
organizations who have recently made or 
renewed generous donations of $100 or more 
as MCF Friends u i/iswto 1/15,00): 

David Bemis; Doug Block; Hugo Cassirer, 
Felix Films; Juan Mandelbaum; Michel 
Negroponte; Toni Treadway & Bob Brodsky 



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Murcli A\Y THE INDEPENDENT 63 



(iZiiE 



g) 



This column commemorates the 25th anniversity of 
A1VF. Every month on this page, we'll revisit the 
people, the struggles, the triumphs, and the issues of 
concern to independents and watch the evolution of 
the field as reflected in the pages of this magazine. 
Below are excerpts from the March issues of The 
Independent from its launch to the present. 

"It was our intent and full expectation that 
CPB would set aside 50% of its programming 
funds for products developed by independent 
producers." 

Henry Waxman, Member of Congress, 1979 

"Back in 1969, just when portable video equip- 
ment was becoming available in stores, I met 
some people called the Videofreex. It was ter- 
rific. We set up a loft in SoHo in the late sixties 
and early seventies as a video studio and did 
everything we could think of on tape. We never 
stopped to think about why we were doing it or 
whether there was any money in it. That was 
back in '69. Of course, some people have made 
millions thinking about whether there was 
money in it in the years since then." 

Skip Blumberg, 1981 

"Although in this age of Atari, cranking by 
motor a perforated strip of film — the gelatinous 
emulsion extruded from cattle bones, the cellu- 
lose base from tree pulp — through a device 
mechanically resembling a sewing machine and 
dunking it repeatedly in tanks of chemical soup 
before drying and buffing might seem by com- 
parison primitive, the end result justifies the 
means with a standard of image fidelity 
unmatched by other systems. Simply put: color 
negative represents a mature, vital, enduring 
technology, not to be written off." 

David Leitner, 1982 

"The consumer video market is expanding just 
as the prognosticators promised. This January 
was a boom month for video stores, as a crush 
of customers rushed to the cassette shelves, 
eager to try the VCRs they got for Christmas." 
Debra Goldman, 1985 

"The fact is we are interested in television. 
Either in changing it, adapting it, getting rich 
off it, co-opting it, incorporating it, selling it, 
free-basing it or just plain getting our work on 
it; the name of the game is T-fucking-Y" 

John Sanborn, 1985 

"Films like Save the Planet, In Our Own 
Backyards, and Peace: A Conscious Choice were 



deemed uneducational [by the USIA] because 
they presented a 'point of view' and were liable 
to be 'misunderstood by those lacking Ameri- 
can points of reference.' Producers have sus- 
pected that 'point of view' was a code for a view 
objectionable to the Reagan administration." 
Debra Goldman, 1986 



"Electronics engi- 
neers are nearing a 
working principle 
that reduces all 
video, graphics, and 
computing possibili- 
ties to a single tech- 
nology. The princi- 
ple, of course, is dig- 
itization." 
David Leitner, 1986 

Despite SAG's 

emphasis on its eco- 
nomic motives, the 
new contract indi- 
cates significant 
changes for a union 
that has been con- 
sidered one of the 
least flexible with 
independents." 

Lucinda Furlong, 
1986 



Much news footage has been irretrievably lost. 
For the first 20 years of television news, none of 
the networks had film libraries per se, even for 
internal use. When Emile de Antonio and 
Daniel Talbot asked CBS in 1961 for footage 
from the 1954 Army-McCarthy hearings, 
"They thought we were a little strange," says 
Talbot. But, he recalls, once the network real- 
ized the producers were "not just some middle- 
aged hippies" and "heard the jingle of money," 
they sat down to talk. 

Patricia Thomson, 1987 

Moviegoers can expect to see more American 
Playhouse productions up on the silver screen. 
The seven-year-old public television series is 
doubling the number of features it will put into 
theatrical distribution. 

Patricia Thomson, 1989 

"The way I see it, when you watch a movie, you 
either role play or disengage. And most white 
men don't want to be a black woman for two 
hours. But they will spend those same two 




hours being a homey, because it's a male fanta- 
sy and they can walk out of the theater without 
worrying about getting shot." 

Julie Dash, 1992 

"It's like Nirvana says: 'Corporate rock still 
sucks.' But if they're going to give you money, 
you should definitely 
take it and turn it into 
something good or sub- 
versive . . . There are 
different ways to bring 
about change in this 
society, and they're not 
always by standing out- 
side and screaming as 
loud as you can. 
Sometimes you can get 
yourself into the board- 
room and set it on fire." 
Heather Mackey, 1994 

"Norman Mailer's 

proverbial 'shit storm' 
hit the arts community 
when the GOP elec- 
torally massacred the 
Democratic party, tak- 
ing control of Congress 
for the first time in 40 
years. The question 
posed by supporters of 
the NEA and public 
broadcasting was not whether the two institu- 
tions would be affected, but just how severely." 
Christopher Borrelli, 1995 

"The importance of Primary still hasn't been 
understood. The fact that there are no inter- 
views is staggering in a film of that sort. There 
are no people talking to cameras. It's unbeliev- 
able. That still hasn't been understood by the 
industry or television at all." 

Richard Leacock, 1996 

"I've always felt very much like Mario Puzo. He 
said if he had known so many people were 
going to read The Godfather, he would have 
written it better." 

Andrew Sards, on his auteur theory, 1998 

"A lot of filmmakers see themselves as artists 
and creators, not as business people. That's a 
nice exalted goal, but to survive in this capital- 
ist society, you have to think otherwise. 
Especially with film, because it's so expensive." 
Arthur Dong, 1999 

— Compiled by Emily Bobrow 



64 THE INDEPENDENT March 2000 



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TOTALLY IHDfPtNDfNT 

Contribute to the Foundation for Independent Video and Film's three year Millennium Campaign Fund which ensures that AIVF/FIVF (publishers '- 
uf The Independent) nat only survive, but thrive in their mission to serve the growing and diverse independent media community. 



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in the amount of: 



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I /We wish to be listed in acknowledgements as: 



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Make your check payable to FIVF and return it with this farm to FIVF. 304 Hudson St.. 6th Fluor. NY. NY 10013. for more information call (212) 807-1400. ext. 223. 

The Foundation for Independent Video and Film is a not-for-profit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible. 



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Publisher: Elizabeth Peters 

Editor in Chief: Patricia Thomson 

[editor@aivf.org] 

Managing Editor: Paul Power 
lindependent@aivf.orgl 

Listings Editor: Scott Castle 
lfestivals@aivf.org] 

Intern: Lisa Vasta 

Contributing Editors: Richard Baimbridge, Lissa Gibbs, 

lark J. Huisman, Gary 0. Larson, Cara Wlertes, Rob Rownd, 

Robert L. Seigel, Esq. 

Design Director: Daniel Christmas 
lstartree@speedsite.com] 

Advertising Director: Laura D. Davis 
(212) 807-1400 x 225; ldisplayads@aivf.org] 

Advertising Rep: Bob Hebert 

lbob@aivf.orgl 

• 

National Distribution: 

Ingram Periodicals (800) 627-6247 

Printed in the USA by Cadmus Journal Services 

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: 
The Independent Film & Video Monthly, 304 Hudson St., 6 fl., NY, NY 10013. ' 

The Independent Film & Video Monthly (ISSN 0731-5198) is published month- 
ly except February and September by the Foundation for Independent Video and Film 
(FIVF), a tax-exempt educational foundation dedicated to the promotion of video and 
film. Subscription to the magazine is included in annual membership dues ($55/yr 
individual $35/yr student, $100/yr nonprofit organization; $150/yr business/indus- 
try) paid to the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF), the nation- 
al trade association of individuals involved in independent film and video. Library 
and school subscriptions are $75/yr. Contact: AIVF, 304 Hudson St., 6 fl, NY, NY 
10013, (212) 807-1400; fax: (212) 463-8519; independent@aivf.org; vww.aivf.org 
Periodical Postage Paid at New York, NY, and at additional mailing offices. 



Publication of The Independent is made possible in part with 
public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state 
agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency 



& 



Publication of any advertisement in The Independent does not 
constitute an endorsement. AIVFAIVF are not responsible for any claims made in an ad. 
Letters to The Independent should be addressed to the editor. Letters may be edit- 
ed for length. All contents are copyright of the Foundation for Independent Video and 
Film, Inc. Reprints require written permission and acknowledgement of the article's 
previous appearance in The Independent. The Independent is indexed in the 
Alternative Press Index and is a member of the Independent Press Association. 

© Foundation for Independent Video & Film, Inc. 2000 
AIVF/FIVF staff: Elizabeth Peters, executive director; Michelle Coe, program & infor- 
mation services director; LaTrice Dixon, membership & advocacy director; Donna 
Joyce & Justin Nathanson, information services assistants; Jessica Perez, adminis- 
trative director, Josh Sanchez, webmaster; Katie Cokinos, MAESTRO coordinator; Liza 
Donatelli, Toolkit coordinator, Eugene Hernandez, web consultant; Anne Hubbell, 
development assoc.; Sushma Joshi, Michelle Nava, Rich Potter, Jerommo Rodriguez, 
interns. 

AIVF/FIVF legal counsel: Robert I. Freedman, Esq. 
Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard 

AIVF/FIVF Board of Directors: Doug Block, Dee Dee Halleck, Vivian Kleiman, Lee Lew- 
Lee, Graham Leggat, Ruby Lerner*. Richard Linklater, Cynthia Lopez*, Diane Markrow 
(president), Jim McKay (chair), Robb Moss (vice president), Elizabeth Peters (ex offi- 
cio), Robert Richter (treasurer), James Schamus*, Valerie Soe (secretary). 
* FIVF Board of Directors only. 



April 2000 

VOLUME 23, NUMBER 3 www.aivf.org 



Upfront 

7 Letters 
9 News 

Seven collectives create the WTO 
video Showdown in Seattle; Independent 
View debuts in San Francisco; The 
NEA Tapes argue for the defense. 

by geov parrish; brendan 
Peterson; Ken Miller 



FAQ & Info 

46 Distributor FAQ 

L.A.-based Phaedra Cinema, now four 
years old, has taken on a slate of U.S. 
indies, world cinema, and Asian 
American features. 

BY LlSSA GlBBS 

48 Funder FAQ 

Since 1980, the Pacific Pioneer Fund 
has been a friend to political documen 
tary-makers in California, Washington, 
and Oregon. 

by Michelle Coe 

48 Festivals 
54 Notices 
63 Classifieds 



@AIVF 



68 Events 

69 Board Minutes 

70 Salons 

72 In Retrospect 




" > ^K^rjh i ^^^^ ^^3 



2 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 




16 Welcome to L.A. 

L.A. is the ultimate movie town. But contrary to popular 
belief, it doesn't begin and end with the Hollywood 
studios. In this special issue of The Independent — one in 
an on-going series of regional spotlights— we take a closer 
look at Los Angeles. As this this issue vividly shows, 
there's an independent film and video scene that's alive 
and well, and as sprawling and varied as the city itself. 

by Holly Willis, Guest Editor 



33 The Documentary Scene: 
The Real Deal 

Sex, Hi Tech, and Reality TV in the City of Angels: 
A sampler of documentary directions. 

by Karen Voss 



18 The Narrative Scene: L.A.'s New Breed 36 Generation n 



How the latest generation of directors works inside, 
alongside, and counter to the studio system. 

by Holly Willis 



23 Hollywood's Original Independents 

Long before indie filmmaking became everyone's favorite 
career plan, L.A. had its share of mavericks, outsiders, 
and visionaries, from Roger Corman to Kenneth Anger to 
Charles Burnett. 

by Kate Haug 



26 The Experimental Scene: 
L.A.'s Media Renegades 

Not everyone in L.A. is hawking three-act screenplays. 
There's a whole parallel world of experimental media, 
populated by makers like William Jones, Erika Suderburg, 
Tran T. Kim-Trang, Jesse Lerner, and Ming-Yuen S. Ma. 

by Steve Anderson 

30 A Fireside Chat 

with EZTV's Michael Masucci 

Words of wisdom from the director of EZTV, one of L.A.'s 
oldest media arts centers. 

by Steve Anderson 

31 Body Conscious: 
LA's New Media Scene 

Venice Beach meets Bill Viola in the flourishing video 
installation world of Los Angeles. 

by Holly Willis 



Que pasa with L.A.'s second-largest population group. 
by Thomas White 

38 Survival of the Fittest: 

L.A. Freewaves & Visual Communications 

How these long-standing nonprofit media arts centers 
have managed to thrive in Tinsel Town. 

by Jim Moran 

40 The Best Silver Screens 

A film lover's guide to L.A.'s arthouses and alternative 
venues. 

by Kate Haug 

42 Festival Fever: The L.A. Line-up 

Bright lights, big city, and movie madness in L.A. 
by Kate Haug 

45 L.A. Confidential: 10 Insider Secrets 

What every filmmaker should know. 
by Holly Willis 

Cover photo: Courtesy L.A. Convention & Visitors Bureau 



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To the editor: 

I am writing with regard to an account of media 
arts studies at the University of New Mexico 
["Land of Enchantment," December 1999]. After 
remarking that UNM's "film and media arts 
departments remain under-funded," the article 
briefly describes an annual two-week course for 
10-14 students offered in the Department of Art 
and Art History and provides little further infor- 
mation about media arts studies at the university. 

Although your article indicates that a "media 
arts center" as well as "film and media arts depart- 
ments" exist at UNM, there are no entities with 
these names. There is simply the Media Arts 
Program. Enrolled each year are more than 1,500 
students, a population far larger than any other in 
New Mexico devoted to the study of film and 
video as art. The Media Arts Program offers a 
broad curriculum in history, criticism, theory, and 
production, and engages in curricular partnerships 
with numerous disciplines at UNM, ranging from 
Computer Science to Cultural Studies. The 
course emphasized in your article is one of many 
that are cross-listed in the Media Arts Program. 

It would take more words than space allows to 
explain how the Media Arts Program has served at 
the forefront of film education and culture in New 
Mexico for almost 30 years. One would discuss the 
eminent international artists and scholars who 
have come to UNM as guests of the program's 
International Cinema Lecture Series and Summer 
Arts of the Americas Film Festival and Course. 
One also would discuss students who have gone 
on to write, direct, produce, and edit successful 
feature-length films in Hollywood and New York; 
write articles and books; teach in major universi- 
ties; and win regional and national recognition for 
work created in the Media Arts Program. And one 
would discuss the awards and accomplishments of 
our small but fine faculty — a Guggenheim Fellow- 
ship, NEA awards, books about film and video in 
relation to new technology, modernity, gender, 
and the Third World, published by Duke, Uni- 
versity of California, State University of New York, 
and other noteworthy presses. 

For more information, your readers may contact 
us, which the author of your article chose not to do. 

Ira jaffe, Professor and Head, Media Arts Program, 
University of New Mexico [mediarts@unm.edu] 

Devin O'Leary replies: 

I am well aware of the Media Arts Program, hav- 
ing graduated from UNM and studied under the 
apt tutelage of Mr. Jaffe for four years. The article 
in question was intended as a brief overview of the 
indie scene in New Mexico, though, not a recruit- 
ment brochure for one school. Would that I could 
have mentioned every single filmmaker and every 
single filmmaking program in the state. But, as 
the Mad Hatter said to Alice, "No room! No 
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5 DAYS SEEN 'ROUND THE WORLD 

Media collectives collaborate to create the video 
Showdown in Seattle on the WTO protests. 




SHOWDOWN 
IN SEATTLE: 

FIVE DAYS THAT 
SHOOK THE WTO 




BY Geov Parrish 



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For leftist activism, the World Trade 
Organization protests in Seattle from 
November 30 to December 3 were a watershed 
event. A new generation was galvanized in the 
heat of Seattle's tear gas and rubber bullets. But 
in the chronicling of that story, another water- 
shed was taking place among the activist media 
gathered alongside the protesters in the streets. 

Three separate alternative media centers 
operated in Seattle during the protests, provid- 
ing streaming and live feeds to media outlets 
around the world. Perhaps the most ambitious 
grassroots project came through the 
Independent Media Center (IMC), a hastily 
assembled alliance of print, video, and audio 
activists. The IMC's video feeds — 30-minute 
satellite uplinks fed each morning after all- 
night editing sessions — have resulted in a 150 
minute compilation video and a 60-minute 
edited version called Showdown in Seattle: Five 
Days that Shook the WTO. 

"It was magic," says Thomas Poole of Deep 
Dish TV, whose assessment is echoed by 
numerous other activists who helped 



Showdown in Seattle come together. "It 
went so smoothly; it was real pleasur- 
able," adds Michael Eisenmenger of 
Paper Tiger TV. For each night's seg- 
ment, several different media collectives 
contributed pieces; collaborators includ- 
ed Paper Tiger TV, Changing America, 
Big Noise Films, Headwaters Action 
Video Coalition, Whispered Media, 
Amazon Watch, and Videoactive. Over 
100 accredited videographers came in 
from the streets of Seattle with footage. 
Free Speech TV helped with the web 
streaming, Deep Dish did outreach and 
raised funds, and the IMC created and 
provided infrastructure. And it all came 
together on six weeks' notice with virtu- 
ally no funding. 

The net result is choppy in places, hard to 
follow in others (there's no narrative through- 
line). But the often-gripping footage of police 
excesses breaks through the mainstream media 
narrative of what actually happened. What's 
more, protesters and anti-WTO activists are 
allowed to speak for themselves, explaining 
why the WTO was a compelling issue that 
brought so many disparate constituencies 
together. 

The 30-minute feeds represented one aspect 
of a multi-faceted strategy to get the word out. 
By Monday of WTO week, Free Speech TV's 
Eric Galatas says the web site was getting over 
1 million hits daily: "The server looked like a 
time bomb." With viewers in every time zone 
following along, IMC volunteers were provid- 
ing a constant stream of footage. 

Meanwhile, that footage was being edited 
on-site. Seattleite Jill Freidberg, who in one 16- 
hour marathon session created the final 60- 
minute tape, recalls, "There were probably 55 



EDITED BY PAUL POWER 

individuals, videographers not included, who 
every night between 9 p.m. and 1 1 a.m. were 
editing parts of the same video, with no clashes 
and no ego. It was incredibly smooth and con- 
genial, true collaboration." At five minutes to 
11 each morning, couriers would rush in with 
the day's segment to be fed to satellite; at the 
same time, the next day's footage was already 
coming in. 

In addition to international broadcast on 
public television and public access stations, the 
Seattle crews have other ambitious plans for 
distribution. The 60-minute tape has been sell- 
ing so well "we can't make dubs fast enough," 
says Freidberg. "For those who were there, it's 
like showing people their home movie." (The 
participating organizations have already sold 
over half of the initial run of 2,000 tapes, which 
are available either by phone or through each 
of the organizations' websites.) Beyond selling 
tapes, Freidberg lists plans for "tours, music 
with bands — not relying on powers that be like 
PBS [to broadcast it] — taking a 'democracy in 
the streets' approach, taking video out on the 
sidewalk." 

Like the protests themselves, much of the 
energy and inspiration for Showdown in Seattle 
came from youth. Paper Tiger's Jessica Glass 
estimates that most of the video editing was 
done by people in their 20s to late 30s. 
Similarly, outfits like Big Noise Films con- 
tributed a young, hip-hop style to each day's 
content. One of the challenges of editing each 
day's pieces, notes Eisenmenger, was weaving 
together such disparate styles. 

So what's next? Freidberg says Big Noise and 
the IMC are planning a cohesive, comprehen- 
sive 60-minute documentary on that week, due 
to be ready this spring. And all of the partici- 
pants echo an eagerness to try this sort of a col- 
laboration again. There is already an 
Independent Media Center set up in 
Philadelphia in preparation for the summer's 
Republican convention and its attendant 
protests. 

Says Freidberg, it was "the most amazing col- 
laboration I've ever witnessed. It was an exper- 
iment. None of us knew how it was going to 
work." Adds Eisenmenger, speaking both of the 
video and the protests themselves: "Seattle was 
a dress rehearsal . . . Seattle was huge; 1 think 
we'll be spending the next two years trying to 
understand it." 

For more information, contact Independent 
Media Center in Seattle, (206) 262 0721. 

i r.nr Parris/i [gparrish@seattleweekly.com) is 
u political columnist for the Seattle Weekly. 



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The Show Must Go On! 

KQED Launches Independent View. 



by Brendan Peterson 

Over the last decade, the words "independent 
film" have evolved into a hip and profoundly 
vague marketing term. As the mainstream 
embraces this cool label and a handful of high- 
profile indie direc- 
tors hog the spot- 
light, the majority of 



Sylvia Mullally & Michael 
Fox of Independent View, a 
new indie showcase on San 
Francisco's KQED-TV. 




independent films are hung out to dry by the 
popular press. 

Independent View wants to change all of that. 
Created by Peter Calabrese, vice president of 
TV Productions at San Francisco's PBS affiliate 
KQED, and developed in conjunction with the 
show's executive producer, filmmaker Jack 
Walsh, Independent View is a local weekly half- 
hour show on Friday nights dedicated to taking 
viewers behind the scenes and into the minds 
of independent films and filmmakers. Award- 
winning filmmaker Jennifer Maytorena Taylor 
(Paulina), who was hired to produce the show, 
explains its innovative vision: "We see our- 
selves as advocates for independent filmmak- 
ers. By covering the broad spectrum of inde- 
pendent film work out there, we hope to 
encourage viewers of all types to see films they 
may not have considered." 

The show's hosts — Michael Fox, a Bay Area 
film critic and journalist, and Sylvia Mullally, 
an actress and radio personality — weave an 
easygoing mixture of filmmaker interviews, film 
previews, and festival coverage into an infor- 
mative, engaging television experience. 

Independent View, which premiered last 
November, has been budgeted to run for a year. 
For Bay Area residents, this is major news since 
the normally buttoned-down PBS affiliate 



rarely produces more than an occasional cook- 
ing show. Last year, in support of Independent 
View, KQED publicly announced a new com- 
mitment to the thriving Bay Area film commu- 
nity: the "Independent Initiative," [www. 
kqed.org/inview] which includes support for 
local filmmakers through donations of facilities 
and equipment, assistance with distribution, 
and increased on-air exposure for new work in 
film and video. 

Despite this feel-good indie spirit, executives 
at KQED are aware that without strong word- 
of-mouth viewer support, Independent View 
could become a good idea that eventually goes 
away. To this end, the show's producers recent- 
ly revamped the program's format, moving co- 
host Mullally into the role of correspondent — 
with roving reporters B. Ruby Rich and Wesley 
Morris — and handing Fox the primary hosting 
duties. As with any unique and innovative 
experiment, growing pains are inevitable and 
subtle changes will likely continue until the 
show hits a groove. 

Eventually Fox imagines that national and 
international filmmakers, writers, producers, 
and actors, fed up with the sound-bite coverage 
afforded most indie releases, will flock to 
Independent View as a haven for intelligent dis- 
cussions of their work. 

So far, the show has attracted an eclectic 
crew of filmmaker guests, including local son 
Craig Baldwin (Spectres of the Spectrum), 
Patricia Rozema (Mansfield Park), Danielle 
Renfew and Greg Harrison (Groove) , and Mike 
Leigh (Topsy Turvy). Roving reporter Mullally 
went head to head with documentary guru 
Errol Morris about his latest film, Mr. Death. 
Producer Taylor emphasizes that the goal of 
Independent View is to mix high profile national 
names like Morris with lesser known, local talent. 

So far, Bay Area buzz for the show been 
strong, as filmmakers see Independent View as a 
new and highly visible vehicle to promote their 
latest work. In fact, much of the show's eclectic 
energy stems from the unbridled enthusiasm of 
the unrehearsed, mostly rookie filmmakers who 
appear as guests. Unlike the polished facade of 
Entertainment Tonight interviewees, the guests 
on Independent View tend to be honest and sin- 
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However, for the show's hosts, interviewing 
these fresh-faced filmmakers presents a special 
challenge. 

"A local filmmaker who is new to interviews 
and hasn't spent hours thinking up answers 
might not be as comfortable in front of the 
camera as more seasoned filmmakers," notes 
Fox. Although he has honed television skills 
since the show's premiere, his journalism back- 
ground and strong connection to the Bay Area 
film community make him a crucial cog for the 
film- smart format. "Sometimes these folks 
aren't as concise and articulate with their 
answers," he continues, "so basically, to keep 
the show moving, I've had to learn to interrupt 



people." 

And while it's true that independent film is 
hotter than ever, a program like Independent 
View is a true test of the public's desire to delve 
beyond the sexy facade of indie flicks. Fox 
explains, "These days everybody talks about 
Sundance but how many people can say they've 
seen a movie from Sundance? Basically most 
people are still going to see the latest Arnold 
Schwarzenegger movie. Most independent film 
is still on the fringe of culture. It's our job to 
make it more accessible." 

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and writer who covers independent filmmakers and 

festivals in the San Francisco Bay Area. 



WITNESS FOR THE DEFENSE: 

THENEA TAPES 



Paul Lamarre and Melissa Wolf 
are preaching to the converted. It's 
December 1999, and the crowd at the 
Society for Ethical Culture has gath- 
ered to hear a forum organized by the 
New York Civil Liberties Union on 
the controversy du jour: New York 
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's attack on 
the Sensation show at the Brooklyn 
Museum of Art. As ever-tougher bat- 
tles in the arts for freedom of expres- 
sion and funding occur, a court deci- 
sion not to defund the BMA despite 
the mayoral edict was a notable mile- 
stone. A screening of Lamarre and 
Wolf's video The NEA Tapes was an 
appropriate consciousness-raising highlight of 
the ACLU event. 

The NEA Tapes, begun in the wake of Jesse 
Helms' attacks on government arts funding, is 
part of an on-going polemic in defense of the 
National Endowment for the Arts — a politely 
phrased but angry rant that picks up every few 
years, responding to each new round of attacks 
on artists and their work. Essentially a one- 
hour made-for-TV documentary, The NEA 
Tapes, through a number of one-hour "works- 
in-progress" made over the five-year period of 
its making, will also serve as an archive ot the 
state of the arts in the late '90s. Sitting in a 
cramped East Village bedroom that also serves 
as an editing and communications center, 
Lamarre explains why he first felt the project 
was necessary. "This was a free speech issue. 
This was about public voice. Now the art world 
is willing to accept that, but a few years ago? 
Forget it." Wolf continues, "We were shocked 
that we had to stoop so low, that we had to 




explain why art was important." 

That tone of frustration pervades the The 
NEA Tapes, echoing through one exasperated 
interview after another with artists, academics, 
and curators who have all been affected by the 
cuts in NEA funding. The one-hour The NEA 
Tapes has now grown into an on-going census of 
a contemporary arts community that finds itself 
being driven underground by a political climate 
that is alternately threateningly reactionary or 
coolly indifferent. 

Lamarre and Wolf, both media artists who 
have created video projects and gallery installa- 
tions, already had a long history of document- 
ing the arts community — and not always in 
defensive terms. In the 1980s the pair produced 
The Chelsea Tapes, a series of vignettes depict- 
ing life in the former flophouse hotel which also 
functioned as an informal artists' colony. 
Lamarre notes that "the image of the artist in 
society at that time was pretty positive, but my 
mother still didn't understand what an artist 
was and what they did. So I thought the perfect 



12 THE. INDEPENDENT April 2000 



G^^) 



metaphor was to go in the kitchen and just see 
how they ate." The result was The Starving 
Artists' Cookbook, with recipes from the likes of 
John Cage and Louise Bourgeois. 

It was on a trip to Europe in 1995 with the 
cookbook that The NEA Tapes first began to 
take shape. "Going to Russia and seeing how 
underground artists collaborated got us think- 
ing about how screwed up the competitive sys- 
tem was in New York," Wolf says. She imagined 
that the new project would look at the ways 
"artists [were] not really working together or 
having a community together." But upon returning 
to the U.S., she and Lamarre found the creative 
community not only fractured, but under assault. 

Suddenly the questions changed. When 
Newt Gingrich threatened in 1995 to cut off 
funding to the arts endowment, who really was 
being attacked? And why? For Wolf the con- 
clusion was simple: "It's not just about some 
New York artist putting a crucifix in urine. The 
NEA actually funds the voices of people who 
are economically repressed all over the coun- 
try." On a trip to Washington to interview New 
York Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler, 
Lamarre and Wolf encountered members of the 
Christian Action Network organizing what the 
group called a "Degenerate Art Show," an 
unironically frightening echo of the Nazi party's 
attack on modernist art. Although the film- 
makers had a screening of their work last 
October, with a presentation by Nadler, there 
has been no official feedback yet from Capitol 
Hill. "We don't see this as an advocacy piece," 
says Wolf "We're just giving voice to those who 
don't normally have a voice in the media." 

And while The NEA Tapes includes inter- 
views with Andres Serrano, Kiki Smith, and 
numerous other New York artists, the true 
heart of the film becomes apparent in footage 
from their cross-country trip. First, the duo 
shows C-Span clips of Republican Congress- 
man Dick Armey describing cuts for the NEA 
as a David-and-Goliath battle against the 



"New York art elite." The tape then notes that 
artists nationwide get less government fund- 
ing — about $100 million — than does the U.S. 
military band. Lamarre and Wolf then take us 
to the small town of Amana, Iowa, where NEA 
funds sponsored the state's first community 
theater. We then go to Texas, where NEA fund- 
ing helped revive the lost art of cowboy poetry 
and sponsored a circle of Native American bas- 
ket weavers. It's as effective as any political 
stump speech. 

"[Artists] are a perfect target," Lamarre 
notes. Far from being a unified elite, the artistic 
community's true diversity works against it. 
"It's like an army of soldiers that just runs 
around in circles. They don't know how to 
organize themselves into a group." This has 
been demonstrated by the recent controversies 
over the Sensation show (particularly a paint- 
ing by British/Nigerian artist, Chris Ofili of a 
black Madonna ornamented with elephant 
dung, a symbol of rebirth) and an exhibition by 
artist Jef Bourgeau at the Detroit Institute for 
the Arts (where last November interim director 
Graham W.J. Beal shut down Bourgeau's Art of 
the 20th Century show because of its perceived 
racial undertones) ; as long as artists fail to put 
up a strong defense, the attacks will keep on 
coming. In the film, Andres Serrano accuses 
the NEA's supporters of "ducking the blows of a 
bully." Lamarre notes bitterly that "maybe in 
another decade we'd have a more courageous 
art world, but right now it's a bunch of wimps." 

"You can only look to influence those people 

who are ready to be influenced. It's a long-term 

project of education," he says. To that end, The 

NEA Tapes have become an on-going archive, 

documenting the litany of voices that cry out 

after each new attack on the arts and, the 

videomakers hope, eventually inspiring those 

voices to become a single shout of protest. 

Experimental filmmaker Ken Miller [theuptownboy@ 
earthlink.net], lias supported himself working at Film 
Arts Foundation, writing for Rough Guides and 
CitySearch, and wrangling bikini girls for rap videos. 



OBITUARIES 

Herb Schiller died Jan. 29 at La Jolla, CA. A lecturer and writer on communication, he was an outspoken 
critic of commercial television and corporate control of the medium. He was involved in Paper Tiger 
Television from its inception and was writer of a number of influential works including Mass 
Communications and American Empire. Schiller was also a former lecturer at New York's City College, the 
Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, and the University of Illinois at Urbana before moving to the University of 
California, San Diego in 1970 where he remained as professor of communication until his retirement in 1990. 
Robert Kramer (1939-1999), co-founder of director-producer cooperative Alpha 60 and of the Newsreel 
movement, died Nov. 10 in Rouen, France. A prolific director of leftist and socially aware docs shot in Vietnam 
{People's War), Portugal {Gestos e Fragmentos), Angola, and Latin America, Kramer settled in Europe in the 
early '80s where he continued to make thought-provoking work. Kramer was also co-screenwriter on Wim 
Wenders' The State of Things (1981), an actor (Cedric Kahn's /.'£/?/?«), poet, playwright, and short story writer. 



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To try to assess the cur- 
rent L.A. media 
scene is immediately 
to come face to face with 
the realization — one often glibly repeated by 
out-of-towners — that there is no L.A. media 
scene. Instead of an absence, however, there is 
an abundance, with multiple, often conflicting 
and contradictory spots of mediamaking dot- 
ting a landscape traditionally seen only in the 
shadow of the omnipresent Hollywood sign 
and the industrial practice it represents. 
However, if you look closely, the sign itself is in 
disrepair — even the recent attempt in January 
to bring the once glorious icon to light as a 
welcome to the new millennium came off 
more as a pathetic party joke than a big-time, 
Hollywood spectacle. And that may be the 
appropriate metaphor with which to begin. 

Hollywood is desperately trying to reckon 
with its increasing lack of power at about the same rate that 
filmmakers are finding new distribution and exhibition out- 
lets and a new, low-cost mode of production. Just in terms 
of a feature film practice, there is a sense of urgency to find 
either the newest cutting-edge gem (i.e. moneymaker) or to 
produce the next blockbuster while nearly every day, anoth- 
er dot.com company announces its foray into an entirely 
new form of media production and consumption. 

And in place of the old Hollywood school there's a new 




generation of feature filmmakers trained in film history but 
weaned on the glorious rags-to-riches narratives that propel 
the current indie scene. In other words, they're just as savvy 
about the seductive pleasures (and political ramifications) 
of a well-told story as they are hungry for their rightful pas- 
sage into the good life, garnered, of course, only through 
marketing oneself as something worth buying, and by prov- 
ing adept at generating strong box office receipts. And 
they're proficient at working the system, begging, borrowing, 
stealing — and then happily signing on for two- and three - 



16 THE JNDEPENDENT April 2000 







picture deals when the studios come calling. 

This generation is balanced by an implacable theory- 
wielding activist sector, a group whose members hold day- 
jobs at local universities and insistently continue to produce 
work and events despite the gradual dissolution of almost all 
recognizable support, both financial and institutional. 

And then there's the "old guard independents," filmmak- 
ers and artists who have formed a remarkably solid founda- 
tion of experimental practice in a shaky landscape. From 
James Benning, who continues to make approximately one 



feature each year, each one as rigorously 

structured as the last, to Nina Menkes, 

whose own output rate is a bit slower but no 

less committed to an insistent investigation 

of narrative possibilities, the city can boast 

its share of experimentalists. Add Betzy 

Bromberg, Charles Burnett, Morgan Fisher, 

the Yonemoto brothers, Susan Mogul, and in 

a younger generation, Chris Munch, Gregg 

Araki, Britta Sjogren — it's easy to see that 

one of L.A.'s most prized treasures is also 

one of its least often recognized. 

And then there is the burgeoning new- 
media sector, with theorists like Art 
Center's Peter Lunenfeld, UCLA's Vivian 
Sobchack, and USC's Marsha Kinder push- 
ing the discussion forward, while a dazzling 
array of artists construct entirely new kinds of 
media experiences. 

So there is no single scene here; instead, 
there's a bunch of disparate communities spread out across 
a sprawling cityscape, each one borrowing resources sup- 
plied by the larger industry and refunctioning them toward 
various ends. Does this issue cover all of these communities 
and media artists? Hardly! Instead, we otter a smattering ot 
profiles and introductions that bint at the diversity here, 
and suggest L.A.'s direction for the future. 

Holly Willis, guest editor 



April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 17 




~ 



THE NEW BREED 




HOW THE LATEST GENERATION OF DIRECTORS WORKS I 
INSIDE, ALONGSIDE, AND COUNTER TO THE STUDIO SYSTEM. 




In the early 1990s, a small cadre of recent film school 
grads, including Gregg Araki, Chris Munch, Britta Sjogren, 
Caveh Zahedi, and Everett Lewis, defined a new Los Angeles 
independent film movement with a body of ultra-low budget 
feature films that eschewed the narrative and aesthetic con- 
straints of the city they called home. These films, while 
extremely diverse in style and theme, nevertheless shared an 
enthusiasm for the promise of narrative filmmaking as a muta- 
ble and evolving form, as well as a modernist aspiration for the 
political possibilities of a radical formal style. And the filmmak- 
ers, educated by the work of Godard, Wenders, Herzog, and 
Varda, seemed propelled by a sense of urgency and commitment 
that not only sets them apart from their L.A. peers, but made 
their films seem fresh, interesting, new. 

The films were duly celebrated and made the rounds of the 
festivals, but they never truly crystallized into an L.A. filmmak- 
ing movement. Instead, they came to represent one moment in 
an evolving historical and aesthetic flux, one that mingles ideas 
about art, money, and politics and tries to support idealist 
notions in a world of financing and box office returns. Several 
of the films made it into theaters, some went undistributed. 
And the filmmakers? They seemed to be caught, like fish out of 
water, in a culture and an industry that didn't quite know what 
to make of them. 

Since then, ultra-low budget filmmaking has become de 
rigeur, especially with the new digital tools, and filmmakers 
have become increasingly shrewd about their choices and the 
extent to which politics and the market conflict. They know all 
too well about the dire domestic distribution scene, and what 
the foreign marketplace needs and wants. Which is not to say 
that they've sold out. Instead, a current spate of new L.A. film- 
makers boasts an attitude that's feisty, savvy, and bold, but one 
that's often upholstered with a snazzy, marketable sheen. 



Looks Gooci on Film 

Take Mary Kuryla's debut feature Freak Weather, 
which premiered last fall in Toronto and recently 
screened to critical acclaim in Rotterdam. The story 
of a woman's growing understanding of herself 
in relation to both her violent partner and 
her needy child, the film enters tough ter- 
rain and refuses glib, easy answers. And 
while the film is bold and brash, full of 
excess and swagger and messy, heart- 
felt passion, all of that can be 
shrewdly construed as "edgy" in 
prosaic marketing parlance. 

But what's more significant is 
Kuryla's desire to push the edges 
of propriety for female charac- 
ters. "I was interested in taking 
several male tropes," explains 



Pi 



Looks do matter, 
as Miguel Arteta's 
handsomely shot 
DVtM Chuck & 
Buck makes clear. 




Kuryla, "a male style of writing and the fucked up male charac- 
ter, and seeing what they would be like with a female character. 
So one way to see the story is as a transposition of these tropes 
onto a female." 

Kuryla adds that Penny, her protagonist (played with jittery 
intensity by Jacqueline McKenzie) is a Jack Kerouac sort of fig- 
ure who gets caught up in her own lasso. "She sets herself up for 
some idea she has about herself, and she tells her lies and her 
stories, but her stories are about bravado. And that's what I like 
about her — there's this kind of romantic maleness to her that 
just is not permitted for women." 

Kuryla's thematic antecedents might be Lizzie Borden and 
Barbara Loden, but her style doesn't want to flaunt budgetary 
constraints. The film was shot on luscious 35mm with careful 
attention to color and set design. But inside this neatly pack- 
aged narrative wrapper lie some rather sticky ideas. This combi- 
nation of gloss and challenging subject matter seems to be one 
strategy shared by a current crop of L.A. indies. 

Miguel Arteta, whose 1994 film Star Maps brought to the cul- 
tural fore a group of people invisible in contemporary L.A., 
recently screened his newest film, Chuck and Buck, in dramatic 
competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Like Kuryla, Arteta, 
too, wants to push boundaries and admits that he had trouble 
finding financing for his discomfiting tale of desire out of 
bounds. "No one wanted to give me the money," he says. Rather 
than rewrite to appease queasy money men, Arteta opted to 
shoot on DV (and worked to secure distribution with Open 
City's DV arm, Blow Up Pictures) . 

Although he shot with the less expensive format, Arteta's 
film slides under the production value radar with a sense of 
sophistication and attention to aesthetics that, again, refuse to 
equate a rough story with a rough look. Rather than hand-made 
and low cost, the film looks decidedly professional; Arteta made 
use of the format's unusual palette and created images that 
seem tinted and vaguely surreal, perfectly underscoring the 
story's simultaneous familiarity and sense of the uncanny. 

Cauleen Smith, whose feature debut, Drylongso, 
screened last year at Sundance, shares the drive to tell 
an untold story and to use narrative to do it. "The 
premise of the film is that black men are an endangered 
species," she notes. "In Drylongso a young woman 
decides to use her camera to document these men, 
i but in the process begins to realize that she, too, is 
in jeopardy." While Smith opts to foreground 
hand-made tropes in her film, the decidedly 
experimental filmmaker knew that a nar- 
rative story was the only vehicle that 
was going to get her ideas in front ol 
paying audience. 

Yer another new L.A. feature is 
Jamie Babbit's crowd-pleasing But I'm 
a Cheerleader, which screened in 
Toronto and more recently at 

April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 19 



Sundance. Featuring Natasha Lyonne as a cheerleader shuttled 
off to a homo-rehab camp and Clea DuVall as the young dyke 
who makes her consider her latent tendencies, the film plays 
with stereotypes, both straight and gay, and disrupts conven- 
tion, but in a way that's more charming than disturbing, and 
with a style that, frankly, looks good rather than bad. And this 
is important to Babbit. "I tend to like movies with more exper- 
imentation," she says. "I don't like gritty realism, and I think 
while you see a lot of that in films from New York, in L.A. peo- 
ple tend to be more attentive to aesthetics." 

That said, however, in a city where on any given day you're 
apt to find several porn productions in Van Nuys, episodes of 
the latest TV shows shooting in Venice, a studio feature crowd- 
ing the public parking lots at the beach in Santa Monica, and 





at least a dozen indie superstar wannabes blocking shots with 
unknowns hidden in apartments all over L.A., what, finally, 
unifies an L.A. filmmaking scene? Clearly nobody knows, but 
there are a few things that make independent filmmaking here 
unique. 



Studio City 



First, many people would argue that the easy access to film- 
making resources — whether it's equipment or crews — shows. "I 
think the films here are much more proficient in terms of pro- 
duction value because of the skill level of crews here," explains 
Scott King, an LA.-based producer and director whose decid- 
edly experimental feature Treasure Island screened at Sundance 
in 1999. "This of course doesn't mean that the films are neces- 
sarily better," he hastens to add with a laugh. 



Babbit agrees. "The crews here are great. They're very expe- 
rienced because they work all the time. They've done commer- 
cials, Corman films, and music videos, so they're very profes- 
sional." Babbit also points out that filmmakers can find materi- 
als and tools that they'd never find anywhere else. "You have 
access to all of these studio luxuries," she says. "We got some of 
our costumes for Cheerleader from one of the studios, for exam- 
ple, and we piggybacked on a commercial company to do our 
Avid editing." 

Matthew Greenfield, producer of both Star Maps and Chuck 
and Buck, notes further advantages of living in a studio city. 
"The whole town is set up for production," he says. "So you can 
get absolutely everything you need, from the major things like 



No, it's not a canine Blue Velvet, it's Mary 
Kuryla's equally adventurous Freak Weather. 



cranes to the most minor 
things like replacement 
jarts for a camera. And, 
if you have the money, 
you can get these things 
24 hours a day, seven 
days a week." Greenfield 
notes that these benefits 
favor the wealthy and 
can unfortunately work 
against the low-budget 
filmmaker. "The disad- 
vantage is that the whole 
town also knows about 
rates and what they can 
get. Locations, for exam- 
ple, are very expensive 
because people are used 
* to getting paid a lot." 
King agrees and notes 
that things get very expensive. "We did a scene in San Francisco 
and shut down an entire street for $200. In LA., even just 
shooting in your home costs $500 a day if you get a permit." 

That said, however, some of the city's guilds are trying to be 
more amenable. "Over the last three years, the DGA and SAG 
have both opened up a lot of possibilities," King says. 

Dawn Hudson, director of the Independent Feature 
Project/West, notes that the presence of TV in L.A. is another 
big advantage. "As a low budget independent filmmaker here 
you can find great deals using the TV industry. When they are 
on hiatus, for example, all of those crews and resources are 
completely available." She continues, "And I think the same is 
true with talent. Because so many actors live here, you just have 
a kind of access that's unbeatable." 



J\ 



y 




«*mmm 



20 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 




Switch Hitting 

The emphasis on access also means that the divide separating 
studio and independent filmmaking can get pretty permeable. 
As Andrea Sperling, a producer whose 
first projects were with Araki and who 
now boasts a long list of indie film 
credits, notes, "There are a lot of film- 
makers who start small, and then 
work up, and they do that a lot faster 
here." 

While that may be true, it's also 
increasingly possible for established 
filmmakers to try more adventurous 
projects. "I think it's getting easier 
and easier for people to 
move back and forth mmm 
between the indepen- 
dent sphere and studio 
projects," claims Peter 
Broderick, president of 
Next Wave Films, an 
Independent Film 

Channel company 

devoted to championing 
low-budget independent 
filmmaking. Sperling 
agrees. "Think about it: 
Just last year we saw films 
by Spike Jonze, 

Alexander Payne, Wes 
Anderson, and David O. 
Russell. When these 
filmmakers move from 
the independent world 
into studio films, they 
continue to make inter- 
esting films." 

One of the places where this is most evident is with the 
IFP/West's annual Spirit Awards, the independent riposte to 
the industry's Academy Awards. Coming up on its 15th year, 
the Spirit Awards has become a must-attend event by indepen- 
dent producers and more studio-oriented execs alike, and it's 
sold out long in advance. 

While in the past often criticized for being a bit too attentive 
to the industry and not attentive enough to the needs of work- 
ing filmmakers, the IFP/West has revamped its programs in 
response. Now the organization not only offers special series 
geared specifically to the nuts and bolts of filmmaking (like 
seminars on shooting digital video) but even has several cam- 
eras available for rent. The organization also offers free legal 
consultations and discounted production insurance. "The 
growth in our membership over the last five years has meant 



that we can use those numbers to get huge discounts for film- 
makers," says Hudson. 

In thinking more about the complex relationship between the 
studios and independent filmmakers, Broderick notes that the 
back-and-forth movement here in L.A. 
has influenced the hopes and fantasies 
of a collective filmmaking conscious- 
ness. "People used to come to L.A. with 
a clear idea of a career path that they 
could aspire to. But filmmakers now 
come more for the critical mass of film 
people and equipment that they'll find, 
and the career path isn't nearly as 
straightforward." 

Broderick also cheerfully notes that, 






(Top): Tinka Menkes in Magdalena Viraga, 
directed by Nina Menkes, one of L.A.'s 
experimental stalwarts. 



Prolific and provocative Gregg Araki has 
set films such as The Living End (pictured) 
in L.A.'s less visible locations. 



contrary to popular 
opinion, filmmakers in 
Los Angeles are kind to 
each other. "There's a 
sense of generosity here 
that can be surprising," 

he says. "People really help each other out a lot." And several 
filmmakers have noted that they have yet to feel the kind of 
bickering and backstabbing that they say characterizes the film- 
making scene in New York. 

And for Greenfield, the diversity of production here cancels 
Out any sense of snobbery. "1 here's no prejudice here in terms 
of the kinds of work you do. People can do anything here, and 
they do." 



April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 21 



L.A. Look and Feel 

Given all of this diversity, to say 
that Los Angeles is schizophrenic 
is to say the obvious. But the city's 
disparate attributes appeal to film- 
makers — the city offers myriad 
guises to fit the mood and tone of 
almost any story. Just think of the 
many filmmakers who have cap- 
tured the "authentic" vision of 
L.A. There's Gregg Araki's neon- 
lit, dismal cityscapes in Totally 
Fucked Up and The Living End, or, 
in stark contrast, Adam 
Goldberg's black and white Scotch 
and Milk and its sparkling homage to a downtown that no 
longer exists. And the recent Magnolia showcases the Valley 
and its own special sense of desolation, while Quentin Lee's 
flamboyant Shopping for Fangs channels both Godard and John 
Woo to picture the city's nascent energy and violence along 
with its beauty and playfulness, 

Greenfield, for his part, likes the city's mutability. "There's 
something chameleon-like about L.A.," he says. "When a film 
is shot in New York, it looks like a film shot in New York. That 
just isn't true here. The city looks totally different every ten 
blocks." 

The city also feels very different every ten blocks, offering 
divergent havens for creative work. For Kuryla, who lives 15 
minutes away from civilization in the woodsy, coyote -populat- 
ed canyons of Topanga, L.A. offers the best of two worlds. "I 
like the fact that I can live in the wilderness and yet have easy 
and immediate access to the city," she says. "And I tend to work 
internally, so I don't like the distractions of a city's environ- 
ment. I want to be able to be very focused when I'm writing, for 
example, and I can do that here." 

Kuryla also favors the city's forthright love of money. "I 
think that as much as I like certain traditions, this place 
eschews tradition in favor of being totally commerce-oriented. 
And there's something about that irreverence that I really like." 

The Dismal Fate of the L.A. Auteur 

Because there is such an emphasis on commerce here, the sup- 
port and understanding for wholly art-driven filmmakers is 
practically nil. "I think it's very hard for the auteurist indepen- 
dent filmmakers here," comments Kuryla. "It's hard to be 
respected for having an auteurist vision in this town because 
the assumption is always — always — that you're doing calling 
cards to get into the industry." 

Of course, many filmmakers are not working their way into 
the industry; if anything, they're working in the opposite direc- 
tion. King's Treasure Island, for example, does not aspire to clas- 
sical Hollywood storytelling, nor do the films made by people as 




divergent as Allison Anders 
and Charles Burnett. 

And yet outsiders tend to 
think that the city's filmmak- 
ers are all just waiting for 
their big studio break. "The 
generalizations always dispar- 
age L.A.," says Broderick. 
"There's this sense that we're 
all working the shadow of 
Hollywood and therefore 
we're somehow already 
coopted, that we all just can't 
wait to sign with CAA or 
William Morris. But when 
you look at a Chris Munch or 
a Nina Menkes, I'm sorry, but you just don't worry about these 
filmmakers being seduced by a studio deal." 

According to Rich Raddon, an independent producer and 
the new director of the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, 
the attention to very noncommercial filmmaking is growing. "I 
would say that, over the last two years, more and more film- 
makers in L.A. are adopting a more guerilla- oriented mode of 
filmmaking. They're buying short ends and just going out and 
shooting, and whereas they used to be influenced by being so 
aware of the marketplace, that seems to be fading. I've recently 
seen some of the best guerrilla films I've ever seen, and they 
were shot here." 

Raddon also points out that production in the city continues 
to grow — approximately 40% of the 1,600-1,700 films he gets 
as submissions are made in L.A., and membership in the IFP/ 
West has grown significantly over the last five years. "Silverlake 
is starting a film festival," he notes, "and the downtown loft 
scene is interesting in terms of production, and Venice is also 
very active." Indeed, one of the most potentially interesting 
Venice groups is Zero Pictures, a collective of filmmakers who 
share resources, producing multiple features simultaneously. 

So while today's crop ot filmmakers offers subversive ideals 
wrapped up in pretty packages, and reflects in interesting ways 
a calculated response to the variables of an unforgiving market- 
place, the next crop may offer a return to the down-and-dirty 
mode of production that marked the city almost a decade ago. 
But it's important to remember that trend- spotting in Los 
Angeles is a losing game; everything shifts too quickly here. 

To sum up, then: Access, numbers, resources — and let's not 
forget the good weather — L.A. seems to have it all. And despite 
out-of-towner skepticism about Los Angeles as a true home of 
indie filmmaking, Sperling makes an interesting point: 
"Everyone eventually has to come to L.A.," she says. "That's 
where the money is. You can go to a certain level other places, 
but eventually you come to L.A." 

Holly Willis is senior editor at IFILM. 



22 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 




OLD WEST 



HOLLYWOOD'S ORIGINAL INDEPENDENTS 



by Kate H aug 







In a 1975 interview, John 
Cassavetes gave an amorphous, 
emotive definition of "indepen- 
dent filmmaker." After listing Robert 
Altman, Martin Scorsese, Elaine May, and Shirley Clark among his 
creative peers, Cassavetes, who mortgaged his own home in L.A. to 
produce A Woman Under the Influence, said, "It's hard to explain what 
'independence' means — but to those who have it, film is still a mystery, 
not a way out." 

Cassavetes' definition provides one framework within which to view 
the historical roots of L.A.'s independent feature film scene. While 
newer generations of filmmakers may see independent film as a way 
into Hollywood, Cassavetes and other mavericks of his generation had 
a different agenda. Though vastly different in style, directors Russ 



Meyer, Roger Corman, and Melvin Van Peebles were, like Cassavetes, 
avid genre-busters, developing and mining controversial genres in the 
shadow of Hollywood, including horror, gore, sexploitation, and blax- 
ploitation. For these filmmakers, independent cinema wasn't a genre 
but, as Cassavetes suggested, a way of thinking about the possibilities 
of cinema. 

Meyer, known for gems like The Immoral Mr. Teas (1°^°) and Vaster 
Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965), is often quoted as saying his films were made 
for lust as well as profit. While he may not have impressed anyone with 
the earnings on these movies, lie nonetheless made a healths profit 
throughout his career. Significantly, the only studio picture Meyei ever 
made, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970), was contracted by 20th 
Century Fox to remedy the studio's tailing ledger hook. And although 
Meyer likes to tout his interest in sex and money, his work neverthe- 



Apnl 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 23 





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less bears the mark of an unfettered vision. 

Prior to the 1960s and, in particular, the mil- 
lions of dollars made by the low-budget hit Easy 
Rider in 1969, "low budget" and "exploitation" 
were characteristics the majors avoided; similar- 
ly, the interest in questionable social morals, a 
fondness for low-brow artistry, and the celebra- 
tion of no-name talent were all anathema to the 
studios. 

But these three characteristics became the 
bedrock on which Roger Corman built his com- 
panies, the notorious American International 
Pictures and New World (which became 
Concorde/New Horizons). In addition to pro- 
ducing over 260 films, Corman directed such 
treats as Not of This Earth (1956), The Wasp 
Woman (1959), X-T/ie Man with the X-Ray Eyes 
(1963), The Wild Angels (1966), The Trip (1967), 
and Bloody Mama (1970), all of which helped to 
build a new audience for exploitation films. 
More importantly, however, Corman also 
schooled several generations of filmmakers and 
helped establish an alternative distribution and 
exhibition network that would become the 
foundation for later indie movements. 

Another L.A. icon is Kenneth Anger, who 
won a landmark obscenity trial after his Scorpio 
Rising (1963) was seized by the LAPD and 
banned in Los Angeles. Anger helped usher in a 
radical new gay sexual sensibility, as well as a vis- 
ceral contempt for Hollywood exemplified in his 
book Hollywood Babylon. 

Other factors that influenced the radical 
shifts in American cinema in the 1960s includ- 
ed the fact that UCLA and USC began to 
attract film students who were influenced by the 
French New Wave, documentary filmmaking, 
and the psychedelic world that surrounded 
them. Equally important, midnight movie 
venues were being transformed into arthouse 
theaters. Meanwhile, the so-called 'New 
Hollywood'— Robert Altman (M.A.S.H., 1970), 
Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show, 
1970), Francis Ford Coppola (The Rain People, 
1969), Bob Rafelson (Five Easy Pieces, 1970), 
Martin Scorsese (Mean Streets, 1973), and 
Haskell Wexler (Medium Cool, 1969) — repre- 
sented the merger that was happening between 
underground film, political consciousness, and 
more experimental feature forms. These film- 
makers moved towards a cinema that aban- 
doned traditional studio formulas, but was not 
relegated to the social margins. And this in turn 
marked a powerful shift in the perception of 
independent filmmaking. (It's important to note 
the extent to which this transition from low- 
brow gore to arthouse intellectual was made 
possible by Roger Corman. Coppola, Hopper, 
and Scorsese all worked lor him early in their careers.) 



Concurrent with this new era of filmmaking 
by the dominant white culture was the produc- 
tion of Melvin Van Peebles' Sweet Sweetback's 
Baadasssss Song in 1971. This black avant- 
garde comeback to the Watts riots captured the 
expansive cultural potential of radical politics. 
Entirely self-produced, aesthetically revolu- 
tionary, and wildly lucrative, Van Peebles' film 
ignited a new genre of exploitation films. The 
merits of blaxploitation as a commercial genre 
are debatable, but Van Peebles' film did open 
the doors for African American filmmakers. 

In the 1970s a host of African American stu- 
dents at UCLA (including Carroll Parrot Blue, 
Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, and Billy 
Woodberry) started producing independent 
work that would lead the way into contempo- 
rary discussion around the politics of race and 
representation. Dubbed the "L.A. Rebellion," 
these filmmakers challenged traditional narra- 
tive and formal structures while showcasing the 
lives of black Americans. Charles Burnett's 
exquisite Killer of Sheep (1977), for example, 
portrays the life of a slaughter house worker 
and his family in Los Angeles, while Julie 
Dash's short films, including Four Women 
(1975), address the role of African American 
women. These filmmakers and other politically 
motivated groups used the university environ- 
ment of the late '60s, '70s, and '80s to capture 
the means of production and control their 
race's on-screen representation. From this his- 
tory we see the rise of features like Cauleen 
Smith's recent feature debut, Drylongso, as well 
as Quentin Lee's Shopping for Fangs. 

The definition of independent filmmaking 
will continue to change as the film business 
adapts to new technologies and niche markets. 
The world of B-movie distribution has evapo- 
rated, while cable and the Internet offer new 
venues for independently produced work. If we 
look at the roots and evolution of the Los 
Angeles independent filmmaking scene, how- 
ever, the world changed not only at the micro 
level of production and distribution, but also 
through the immense cultural and political 
events that transpired. Independent filmmak- 
ing tends to respond to the world, as well as to 
unconventional desires, no matter how per- 
verse, scatological, or revolutionary they are. In 
Cassavetes' definition, it is the desire to explore 
this uncharted, unseen, and unpredictable ter- 
ritory that provides independence. From sex- 
ploitation films to LSD-inspired narratives to 
blaxploitation, Los Angeles filmmakers in the past 
found the mystery and the magic in the medium. 

Kate Hang h working on a urban renewal project in Los 

Angeles. Her roadway improvement plan includes 

broadcasting Santana on loudspeakers and planting 

hemp in the meridians. Suggestions are welcome. 



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\p.,l 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 25 



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One of the little known facts about Los Angeles is that 
the city is home to some of the most diverse and cutting- edge 
experimental media production in the world. The scene has a 
long history stretching back to the 1920s, but it also has a very 
current presence, thanks to the content of numerous artists 
whose work brings together a commitment to theoretical 
sophistication, stylistic innovation, and political engagement. 
Many of these artists express their faith in the power of alter- 
native media by performing in multiple capacities, making 
films, videos, or multimedia projects while also teaching, writ- 
ing, and curating. Among these media artists are William Jones, 
Erika Suderburg, Tran T. Kim-Trang, Jesse Lerner, and Ming- 
Yuen S. Ma. For these makers, "independence" is a necessity 
rather than a marketing strategy — they do not aspire to a 
three-picture deal with the latest entertainment giant. 
Although their work is widely disparate both formally and the- 
matically, together these artists constitute a strong, smart, and 
much needed alternative presence in a city that, thanks to gen- 
eral funding cuts, has almost no remaining infrastructure to 
support them. 

William Jones 

An Ohio native with degrees from Yale and CalArts, William 
Jones has emerged as one of L.A.'s most articulate and icono- 
clastic filmmakers. In his rigorously structured and densely eru- 
dite film and video work, Jones has developed a unique mode 
of historical- etymological exposition which highlights the 
entangled operations of history, politics, economics, and sexu- 
ality. His work is both highly personal — by turns confessional, 
autobiographical, and analytical — while always remaining 
politically charged. 

The appropriation of images — both from domestic and 
industrial sources — plays an important role in much of Jones' 
work, ranging from the use of his father's frantically neurotic 
home movies in MassiUon to the operatic power plays enacted 
in Eastern European porn video which he excerpts in The Fall 
of Communism . . . as Seen in Gay Pornography. Likewise, in 
Finished, Jones pairs images of gay porn star Alan Lambert with 
scenes from Frank Capra's Meet John Doe in order to investigate 
the relationship between Hollywood and the porn industry and 
the complex interplay of images and desire. 

For Jones, Los Angeles offers both opportunities and likely 
frustrations to those seeking to combine art with political 
engagement. He notes that "there is a fundamental contradic- 
tion between the individualism encouraged by the American 



"Los Angeles tends to be a 
haven for isolated crackpots. 
When people ask me about 
movements or scenes in L.A., I 
have trouble answering their 
questions, since I'm one of 
those crackpots." 

— William Jones 



cultural establishment and the solidarity required for concerted 
political action. It's no surprise that independent filmmakers 
usually make diffuse and ineffectual collectives. Like academics, 
they are notoriously difficult to organize." 

Los Angeles' leg- 
endary geographical 
dispersion also con- 
tributes to a pervasive 
sense of fragmentation 
and disunity even 
among members of the 
relatively small commu- 
nity dedicated to alter- 
native media. According to Jones, "Los Angeles tends to be a 
haven for isolated crackpots. When people ask me about move- 
ments or scenes in LA., I have trouble answering their ques- 
tions, since I'm one of those crackpots." Nonetheless, his work 
has received support from several of the city's existing institu- 
tions, including Filmforum, the California Community 
Foundation, and a now-defunct program at the AFI. "I can't 
claim a total isolation. I suspect that film culture here is just a 
bit less abject than it is in most of the rest of the United States, 
though I know that's not saying much." 

Jones also emphasizes the interconnections between industri- 
al production in the city and its double in alternative circles. 
"My work, and for that matter the work of any other filmmak- 
er, would be impossible without the film industry. The materials 
making up the entire apparatus of production are industrial 
products under the direct or indirect control of monopolies." 
Although his work clearly resides at the "experimental" end of 
the independent feature film spectrum, Jones professes a certain 
fascination with narrative and the aspirations of certain indus- 
trial productions. "In Southern California, it is virtually impos- 
sible to exist in some sort of anti-Hollywood cocoon, an illuso- 
ry place to reside, in any event. The whole infrastructure is 
here, though getting access to the means of production can be 
extremely frustrating. A powerful mythology clings to the state 
of being taken seriously in Hollywood, and it is very difficult to 
distance oneself from that." 

Erika Suderburg 
With a body of video work that ranges from the conceptual sub- 
lime (a naked woman languorously swimming backstroke across 
the frame in Waiting for Transmission), to the historically specif- 
ic (an evocation of what it must have been like to be the pilot 



26 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



j|i ; "' 



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T E X^ E 



^V :r-<r e> e fl s cz> n 



who has just dropped a bomb in Displayed Termination: The 
Interval Between Death, Erika Suderburg is one of L.A.'s most 
prolific and versatile practitioners of marginal media. 

In addition to teaching in the Film and Visual Culture pro- 
gram at UC Riverside, Suderburg has edited two books on video 
and installation art: Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices 
(with Michael Renov) and Space, Site, Intervention: Situating 
Installation Art. She is currently completing an experimental 
documentary about Los Angeles, and her work was the subject 
of a recent retrospective at L.A.'s Film Forum. In her video and 
installation work, Suderburg brings a rare combination of 
understated humor and theoretical sophistication to issues of 
gender, ideology, and the politics of representation. 

Suderburg's various roles as teacher, writer, curator and artist 
are linked by a commitment to advocacy for marginal media. 

"People who are interested in 
marginal practices have to 
work hard to keep connected, 
which is why people like [L.A. 
Freewaves founder] Anne Bray 
have been so important," she 
says. "In the eighties the AFI, 
Museum of Contemporary Art 
(MoCA), Los Angeles 
Contemporary Exhibition 
(LACE), and the Long Beach 
Museum all had very supportive programs and now all of it is 
gone. These kinds of institutions created communities that just 
can't be replaced by a once-a-year festival. And this fetishiza- 
tion of the Internet can definitely never be a substitute for it." 
The loss of institutional support in Los Angeles has been 
coupled with shifts in exhibition and distribution which further 
threaten the future of alternative media. (National funding cuts 
over the last seven years have hit L.A. hard. The Long Beach 
Museum, for example, once a central source for new video art, 
now rarely programs video, and its Annex is no longer readily 
available for artists.) "People think it can be replaced by people 
at home with their computers, but that's not community" 
Suderburg insists. "The Internet is a fundamentally isolating 
activity which displaces a lot of what's interesting about mar- 
ginalized practice. Artists also used to do a lot more curating 
and large festivals used to have significant experimental com- 
ponents, but now they've gotten very conservative. It makes for 
a very boring climate." 




Somewhat ironically, Suderburg cites the presence of the film 
industry in Hollywood as one of the primary advantages of 
working in Los Angeles. "Hollywood is completely cathected to 
my work. I'm not in the industry, but I work with people who 
are. There's a core of underutilized talent — people who don't 
get to do their own work or exercise their creativity — that I can 
tap into." For Suderburg, this tactical appropriation of the 
industry's productive apparatus gives her work some of its polit- 
ical edge. "My work is not 'activist' in the traditional sense, but 
I am engaged in various forms of political subterfuge. At one 
level, just being in the margins and making work that is not a 
dominant narrative is itself political." 

Tran T. Kim-Trang 

It is a rare video that brings the language of psychoanalytic the- 
ory into the traditional realms of documentary and video 
activism — and a rare video artist who is equally comfortable 
talking about Freud and the Khmer Rouge. In her work, L.A.- 
based videomaker and assistant professor of Media Studies at 
Scripps College Tran T Kim-Trang insists on bringing these two 
worlds together. "My work is definitely informed by theory," she 
reports. "What I try to do is bridge the academic realm and the 
public arena. I don't try to reach everybody, but I'd like to put 
the two together." 

Tran sees no contradiction in bridging the historical divides 
between theory and practice, form and content. "Hopefully if 
you're versed in theory, then maybe the ideas will be challeng- 
ing to you even if you don't share the politics of the work. And 
if you're politically savvy, then maybe you'll start to think about 
formalist values without just falling back into modernism and 
assuming that all experimental work is inaccessible and politi- 
cally retrograde. For me, form and content really go hand in 
hand, and from that point of melding we can go on to another 
level of engagement and discussion." 

Although her background is in studio art (with an MFA from 
CalArts) and she works primarily in video, Tran's teaching has 
been swept in the direction of interactive media, web design, 
digital video production, and motion graphics. Partly as a result 
of these new technologies, she sees an erosion of the distinc- 
tions between commercial production and underground, exper- 
imental work. "We've come full circle now — it's not just 
Hollywood borrowing from 
us any more. Younger 
people are looking at 
MTV and learning a 
lot from that style, so 
it's getting harder to 
delineate the line 
between the avant- 
garde and the com- 
mercial-industrial realm. 
There's a real ingratitude 
about how much inde- 




Say "a/i/j/z/i-vante garde." 
William E. Jones' The Fall 
of Communism ... as 
Seen in Gay Pornography. 



^ 



/" 



\pnl AW THE INDEPENDENT .'/ 



pendent makers have borrowed from the industry. It's hardly 
ever acknowledged, hut I see the relationship as symbiotic." 

Unlike many other practitioners in the margins, Tran is 
hopeful about the future of institutional support for media arts 
in Los Angeles, particularly as it becomes increasingly cross- 
fertilized with the energy and aesthetics of other media. 
"There's definitely a community here, which is pretty support 
ive and cohesive. It's contentious sometimes, but not as bad as 
New York. In L.A., the boundaries between different media are 
not clear cut — partly by virtue of a handful of people like Anne 
Bray and [Visual Communications director] Linda Mabalot 
who provide a space and a network to allow the community to 
expand and spill over into the other visual arts." 

Jesse Lerner 

It's a truism of postmodern culture that the difference between 
truth and fiction is not what it used to be, but for Jesse Lerner 
this is more than an empty slogan — it's a point of departure. An 
assistant professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College, Lerner 
has been making films in and around Los Angeles for over 10 
years, bringing a wry humor and critical eye to bear on what he 
calls "hemispheric histories" and the cultural imbrication of the 
U.S. and Mexico. His most recent film, Ruins, is a feature- 
length "fake" documentary which exposes the persistence of 
colonial paradigms in pre -Colombian historiography and calls 
into question the conventions by which the disciplines of 
archaeology and art history are constituted. 

Although he has ambivalent feelings about it, Lerner con- 
fesses to benefiting from his proximity to Hollywood. "David 
James [film scholar and author of Allegories of Cinema] has writ- 
ten perceptively about the ways in which the presence of com- 
mercial cinema has shaped all sorts of alternative production 
practices in L.A., even those which might be thought of (ini- 
tially) as existing in opposition to the studios. I use the same 
labs, postproduction facilities, and rental houses as the indus- 
trial cinema. So 
although I might like 
to think I'm engaged in 
an oppositional prac- 
tice, in the end, my 
relationship to the stu- 
dios is probably more 
symbiotic than I'd like 
to admit." 

As a person who is 
committed to integrat- 
ing theory with prac- 
tice, Lerner travels extensively and works to create a wider con- 
text for work which might otherwise be defined strictly in 
regional terms. "When things are going well, I see my various 
roles — -teacher, writer, maker, and curator — as convergent parts 
of a whole. A lot of what I do involves neither filmmaking nor 
writing, but working towards building an international commu- 
nity of practitioners, scholars, and venues that support this kind 





of work." 
In Southern California, Lerner identi- 
fies a few venues and institutions 
including L.A. Freewaves and Film 
Forum as "particularly important in 
nurturing a creative community of 
media artists, community activists, 
and maker/curators with sensibili- 
ties attuned to the dynamics of the 
region." However, he notes that 
affiliation with an existing commu- 
nity — even if it is composed of 
From Ekleipsis. by Tran T. Kim-Trang like _ minded artistSj activists , or 

educators — "implies a negotiation with a set of institutions and 
traditions that at times may feel like a supportive infrastructure, 
at other times like a troublesome absence." 

Ming-Yuen S. Ma 
Technologies shape consciousness, affecting not only what we 
see, but how we see. In an age of camcorders and electronic sur- 
veillance, video has become an integral part of identity, creating 
avenues rich with possibilities for personal expression and, on 
the negative side, supporting what cultural theorist Donna 
Harraway has termed the "informatics of domination." In his 
various roles as artist, teacher, and curator, Ming-Yuen S. Ma 
has explored both sides of video's schizophrenic nature, while 
serving as one of L.A.'s most avid proponents of alternative 
media. 

In his work, Ma brings post-structural theory to bear on high- 
ly personal issues of diasporic identity, sexual politics, and 
nomadic existence. His current project, Mother/Land, for exam- 
ple, charts the shifts his mother experienced when she left Hong 
Kong and set up a new home in London, while an earlier tape, 
XLPI: Myth(s) of Creation, investigates the various notions of 
travel, both as movement from city to city and across language 
and various identities. And, in his first year as director of the 
L.A. Freewaves Festival, Ma organized a series of brilliantly con- 
ceived "video bus tours." [See p. 38.] 

For Ma, living and working in Los Angeles is a double-edged 
sword. "Being in L.A., you're in both the best and the worst of 
it. You're ignored by the industry, which is a good thing because 
it translates into a freedom that you wouldn't have otherwise." 
He also notes the irony of living in the city where most of the 
world's popular media is produced while barely managing to sus- 
tain what has been described as one of cable television's worst 
public access systems in the country. "If we lived in a culture 
that valued challenging, progressive media, things would be dif- 
ferent. But alas, we don't." 

Having learned the hard way about the difficulty of balanc- 
ing creative work with economic necessity 7 , Ma is also less than 
hopeful about the idea of tactical appropriation of industrial 
tools. "I think it's a myth that working in the industry is a good 
way to get access to equipment and facilities which you can use 
for your own work during down time. I can count on one hand 



28 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



the number of people I know who have 

been able to complete projects that way." 

For Ma, a more important set of 

resources may be found in organizations 




such as Visual Communications, an Asian 
American visual arts organization found- 
ed at UCLA in the 1970s, and the Long 
Beach Museum of Art, whose historic sig- 
nificance is unquestionable, in spite of its 
uncertain future. With the virtual disap- 
pearance of arts funding since the eighties 
and the demise of local access programs 
once supported by organizations like 
LACE, Ming looks hopefully to institu- 
tions like L.A.'s Museum of Contem- 
porary Art and Side Street Projects, a 
nonprofit visual arts program, to step into 
the void and expand their support for 
media arts. 

According to Ma, the independent film 
movement has become essentially a 
"commercial genre" that benefits certain 
types of production while ignoring others. 
"'Independent' is a term that I don't even 
identify with anymore except in terms of 
being an alternative to the commercial 
industry — which is ironic, since the inde- 
pendent film movement has its roots in 
the experimental spirit of the '60s and 
'70s which has now been essentially shut 
out." Nonetheless, Ma remains hopeful 
about the future for alternative media 
practice. "There has always been a very 
vibrant, strong, innovative media arts 
community here. Going back to people 
like Kenneth Anger and Maya Deren, you 
can see independent or experimental 
work as a kind of flip side to the industry. 
There is a tradition here, even if people 
don't know about it." 

Steve Anderson is a fihmnaker and 
freelance writer based in Los Angeles. 





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• Editor P/T: teach techniques & methods of film editing & non-linear 
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• Designer F/T: teach basic perspective, illustration & rendering for 
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• Animator P/T: teach 2D computer graphics & film production 
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• System Administrator F/T: Technical Faculty for 3-D computer 
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A FIRESIDE CHAT 
with EZTV'S Michael Masucci 

For the past 20 years, EZTV has been one of L.A.'s most important 
and prolific alternative production and exhibition venues. Since the 
death of its founder, John Dorr, in 1993, EZTV has been directed by video 
artist, producer, and curator Michael Masucci. Throughout his career, 
Masucci has worked to dissolve the boundaries between commercial and 
noncommercial media and to broaden the reach of EZTV's video and dig- 
ital production into a truly global arena. In addition to his passionate 
advocacy for alternative media, Masucci is devoted to keeping EZTV on the cutting edge of 
rapidly changing technologies, creating one of the world's first exhibition spaces dedicated to 
computer art (EZTV's CyberSpace Gallery) and maintaining an experimental media presence 
at high tech events such as the DV Expo and Siggraph conventions. Here, Masucci talks about 
Los Angeles, new technologies, and the future of alternative media. 

On EZTV: 

What EZTV is about is developing media that doesn't have the bureaucracy of the studio sys- 
tem. We're about not having to go through huge chains of command to get projects created. For 
20 years, EZTV has been saying that you can go out with whatever tools you have available and 
create your project. However, in recent years we've been focusing on getting projects into big- 
ger arenas. We've had things premiere in places like PBS, Bravo, and the BBC. But there's still 
very much a need for the kind of grassroots thinking that EZTV has stood for all these years. 

On Los Angeles: 

Up to now, we might as well have been located in Cleveland for all the good our proximity to 
Hollywood has done us. We have never benefited directly from being located in Los Angeles. 
In fact, the studios probably wish we had gone away a long time ago and the independent film 
movement had not become as popular as it has. But now the tables have turned, and there are 
a lot of advantages to being independent. In the future, I think the independent voice will be 
focused on even more. 

On independent film: 

The effect of the independent film movement and particularly The Blair Witch Project has been 
that major studios are talking to us — not only about the things we're producing now, but they're 
interested in distributing old stuff. All of a sudden, the studios understand what we're doing and 
they're very excited about it. I haven't had to explain what it is we're about, because what they 
see are low production costs and high potential for profit. We're saying the same things that 
we've been saying all along, but the difference is now they're listening to us. 

On digital video: 

Digital video is part of an evolution in media which comes from the video art movement of the 
'70s, experimental film, and a lot of other alternative media that seem to have fallen by the way- 
side when you hear about the digital video "revolution." People think low cost, high quality pro- 
duction began with digital video, but the reality is that people at EZTV and a handful of other 
places, like the Electronic Cafe and the Long Beach Museum, have been doing for decades what 
digital video users are taking to be a revolution. Historically, it just isn't true. 

On history and the future: 

Another goal for us is to provide a historical context for what's happening in technology now. 
For me, the musician/inventor Les Paul is one of the true parents of this field because his inven- 
tion of multi-track recording laid the foundation for all kinds of compositing — whether it's lay- 
ering in Photoshop or nonlinear editing — which we now take as a given. But this was actually 
a philosophical invention. Prior to multi-track recording, everything was live. If you couldn't do 
it all in one room at one time and capture it with one machine, it didn't exist. 

In the 20th century we've seen a whole new chapter of thinking — to me as important and as 
revolutionary as the invention of perspective in the 14th century. The 21st century is not going 
to be about film. The aesthetics are from film and the language is from film, but the actual tools 
are electronic. It's the logical extension not of celluloid but of radio — sending electronic signals 

out through space — and that's really what the Internet is. 

— Steve Anderson 



30 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



While L.A. is generally known as the home of Hollywood film- 
making, and sometimes as the birthplace of a particularly provocative 
strand of the avant-garde, it should also be acknowledged as the site 
for an increasingly compelling body of work centered on installation. 
This contingent of the LA media scene effectively illustrates a wide- 
spread interest in — you guessed it — the body, which is no surprise 
given that this is, after all, LA, where a particular kind of body takes 
you a long way. But rather than depicting that body, these artists are 
interested in the ways in which viewers relate to images through their 
own bodies. 

Perhaps the strongest evidence of this new body awareness is the 
explosion of film and video events across the city over the last year or 




so, all of them geared in some way toward immersing viewers (and 
their suntanned, aerobicized physiques) within the image in large-scale 
video projections and installations. Somewhat reminiscent of Stan van 
der Beek's notion of the "expanded cinema" and the ecstatic light 
shows of California in the 1960s, when artists explored multiple levels 
of projection and ways of expanding consciousness beyond the con- 
fines of both the physical self and the rational mind, these events rein- 



troduce questions of reception and perception, and the role of corpo- 
real sensation. 

Take Bill Viola's video installations, showcased by a national restro- 
spective last year, for example. The Long Beach-based Viola brings 
viewers into the very mechanism of vision with several of his most 
interesting projects. Entering the space of Slowly Turning Narrative 
(1992), which features several video projections completely filling a 
large room with a huge turning screen/mirror in the center, is like walk- 
ing into the body of a camera (or that of an eye) — the viewer becomes 
part of the mechanism of projection itself. 

Similarly, Viola's Hall ofWliispers (1995) invites viewers into a dark- 
ened hallway within which are suspended black-and-white video 
images of faces. Eyes closed, mouths gagged, voices muffled — the life- 
size images suggest the issue of censorship on one level, but the hallway 
itself and the experience of standing among these ghostly faces exem- 
plify Viola's on-going interest in the relationship of viewers to images 
suspended in space and time. "It has always been my contention that 
video images in some sense live," explains Viola, and we can extend his 
thought to note that our interactions with images involve an intricate 
play between body, mind, and being. 

Video artists Bruce and Norman Yonemoto are also known for their 
media installations which play with the body's relationship to images. 

by Holly Willis 

Conscious 

media scene revels in the sensations of the flesh. 

The eloquent Framed (1989), for example, borrows footage shot by the 
War Relocation Authority (which handled the incarceration of 
Americans of Japanese ancestry during WWII) and reframes it, look- 
ing for suggestions of alternate readings. However, the viewer experi- 
ences this reframing by looking through a series of screens and scrims 
such that one frequently sees not only multiple layers of images, but 
one's own reflection. In this way, the project deftly plays with the rela- 
tionship between viewer and viewed. 

Norman Yonemoto recently addressed this interaction directly in an 
installation titled 'Self Portrait (1999), which positions the viewer 
within a small office cubicle, seated in a wheelchair watching a com- 
puter monitor. The images on the monitor trace an excursion onto the 
Internet, intercut with images of Yonemoto undergoing medical treat- 
ment. Once again, however, the viewer catches glimpses of him- or 
herself in the monitor, and thus becomes implicated directly in the 
image being watched. The project, since it addresses issues of subjec- 
tivity and the body, both as an entity needing medical treatment and 
as an imagined or constructed entity traversing the Internet, beautiful- 
ly evokes the shift between self and other as the image toggles back and 
forth from reflection to projection. 

Jennifer Steinkamp's large scale, brightly hued, multi-projector ani- 
mated installations take this interest in the body's relationship to 
images in another direction altogether. By merging the corporeal with 
the visual, she reworks our perception of comprehensible space. 
"Basically, I use light to dematerialize architecture," she explains. "1 do 
this by placing an illusionistic space inside of a real space." 

Steinkamp produces her animations digitally, and then projects 
them in large rooms, filling entire walls, floors, and ceilings with mov- 



April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 31 




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ing, sometimes layered imagery. The effect is 
stunning, akin to stepping into an image that 
has depth, or being wrapped up in layers of 
moving pixels. "As the viewer internalizes the 
image in her mind, she also experiences it 
physically in real space as she sees her shad- 
ow," says Steinkamp. The shadows and bodies 
of viewers become moving elements within 
the pieces, and the combined layers and 
movement effectively realign and rearrange 
the contours of a given space and our sense of 
subjectivity. 

Other L.A. artists emphasize the body as a 
point of perception by calling attention to the 
ways in which we actually encounter images. 
Cindy Bernard, for example, is known for her 
photographic recreations of Hollywood loca- 
tions. These projects slyly redouble the power 
of the film industry by astutely throwing into 
vertiginous relief the relationship between 
the real and simulated. Location Proposal #2 
(1997-1999), for example is composed of 18 
separate rear screen projections that are 
reproductions of the Muir Woods locations 
from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. The key here 
is the fact that Hitchcock never visited the 
Muir Woods, but instead recreated the loca- 
tion on a soundstage. Thus Bernard's recre- 
ation (or re -recreation) simulates a simula- 
tion, but perhaps more importantly, it invites 
viewers to perceive this sense of simulation by 
moving around the images, which are rear- 
projected on suspended screens. We thus lit- 
erally enter into a continuous chain of repro- 
ductions that ultimately undermines the hier- 
archy of the real over the fake. 

These are only a few names and projects in 
a much larger movement designed to compli- 
cate spectatorship. Indeed, the array of 
"expanded cinema" projects and artists in 
L.A. ns vast, and might include the various 
video/music events in clubs that merge danc- 
ing with viewing, as well as the attention paid 
to senses beyond vision and hearing. Vibeke 
Sorensen's recent installation work, for exam- 
ple, includes the senses of smell and touch, 
while Sara Roberts and Christine Panushka 
recently collaborated on a project that asked 
viewers to find a story by investigating the 
drawers of a large cabinet. In all of these 
media installations, viewing expands beyond 
mere watching, and the recent anxieties over 
the potential obsolescence of the body as we 
become a cyber culture are rebuked in a ques- 
tioning that is at once exuberant, celebratory, 
and curious. 



32 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



REAL DEAL 

Sex, High Tech & Reality TV in the City of Angels 



by Karen 
Voss 



HE DOCUME 

"Documentary production here is EXPLODing," claims Betsy 
McLane, executive director of the Los Angeles-based 
International Documentary Association (IDA). It hasn't always 
been like this, but with the titanic changes wrought by DV and 
desktop editing, the proverbial floodgates of reality-based con- 
tent have burst open. Add the tremendous changes in distribu- 
tion channels (especially cable and the Internet), and you get a 
whole new documentary scene. This is perhaps nowhere more 
pronounced than in LA. 

Just look at the numbers. While theatrically-released feature 
documentaries have stayed about the same for the last 20 years 




n'llDiJH WIT 



i * 




J* I 






Mark Harris' Oscar-winning 
Holocaust documentary 
The Long Way Home. 



\ J 



(about 10 per year make it to the- 
aters and gross around $150K), more and more mainstream 
resources are being funneled into "reality-based" programming. 
And a lot of those resources go to L.A. filmmakers. 

But that's only one of the reasons for the genre's renewed 
prominence in the city of angels. L.A. also boasts an institu- 
tional infrastructure whose importance shouldn't be underesti- 
mated — all of the guilds (powerful entities in L.A.) sanctify 
documentary filmmaking, allowing it a small place in the sun 
next to the Hollywood feature. The Writers' Guild has a non- 
fiction group. The Directors' Guild has a caucus of documen- 
tary directors. And the Directors', Editors', and Writers' Guilds 
all give out special awards for documentary filmmaking. 



This institutional infrastructure spills over into a plucky local 
exhibition scene, which includes screenings held by the IDA, 
the American Cinematheque, various museums, and film 
school retrospectives (at USC, UCLA, and AFI). 

Yet another reason for L.A.'s strong position in the national 
doc scene is the fact that many directors and cinematographers 
here take advantage of their hometown's primary industry and 
ricochet back and forth between feature and nonfiction work. 
Haskell Wexler, for example, shot Richard Pryor Live on the 
Sunset Strip and his own docu-fiction hybrid Medium Cool, as 
well as mainstreamers like Mulholland Falls. His next doc is on 

bus drivers' unions. 
Similarly, Michael Apted 
capped off his 7 Up series 
last year with 42 Up and 
simultaneously hit the- 
aters with the new James 
Bond flick, The World Is 
Not Enough. Even Penel- 
ope Spheeris, who gave us 
The Decline of Western 
Civilization series, has also 
directed a spate of Holly- 
wood features, including 
Wayne's World. These 
folks have made a career 
out of the back-and-forth 
maneuver. 

If you're not a Wexler or 
an Apted, however, cross- 
over can admittedly be a 
gray area. Sure, the time 
has never been riper to 
rob Peter to pay Paul, figu- 
ratively speaking. Reality 
programming for Fox alone, with brazen cops and attacking ani- 
mals, enables unprecedented salaries and access to equipment. 
Shockumentaries, intimate profiles, middlebrow history — tele- 
vision audiences can't get enough. This means that, as a film- 
maker, you may have to stomach some pretty low documentary- 
making on the long road to your dream project. 

But overall, this may be the best way to tell the story of doc- 
umentary filmmaking in L.A. — it's a neo-Robin Hood talc of 
interloping and rechanneling resources in the after-hours of 
Hollywood production companies to fuel projects of passion. 
The following illustrates the complicated, fluctuating scrappi- 
ness that's currently transforming the way we define and con- 
sume "dot umentary." 




April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 33 




The L.A. 
Factor 

Looking back, 
L.A. has long been 
home to some of 
the most com- 
pelling documen- 
tary filmmakers, as 
well as being the 
subject of their sto- 
ries. Wattstax, Mel Stuart's 
1973 study of a massive, 
daylong concert held at 
the Los Angeles Coliseum 
seven years after L.A.'s 
1965 Watts uprising, is a 
key prototype. Coming 
on the heels of the 
Warner Bros-funded 
Woodstock (1970), the 
film intercuts concert 
footage of top artists 
(brought to the event 
by Stax Records, a cru- 
cial Black record com- 
pany in L.A.) with the geography of 
Black L.A.'s struggling urban core and commentary from sig- 
nificant celebrities like Richard Pryor to create an exquisite 
piece of cultural history. The performance, as well as the por- 
trait of a subculture and the way white eyes crave images of eth- 
nic others, epitomize much of Wattstax and L.A.'s documen- 
tary impulse generally. And the film has been recently recircu- 
lated, exhibited by the IDA at the John Anson Ford Cultural 
Theatre, with live performances by Stax records alumni and the 
First AME Choir. 

Likewise signaling the richness of L.A. documentary and the 
vitality of contemporary documentary exhibition there is 
French filmmaker Agnes Varda's Murs murs (aka Murals, 
Murals). Varda's loving study of L.A.'s ethnic murals brims with 
the intoxicating complexity of a French woman's gaze on an 
under- canonized landscape and the poetry of the early city 
symphonies. It was made on a big studio's dime in 1980 (she 
also made Black Panthers in 1968) and resurfaced recently at 
the American Cinematheque, as well as at the "L.A. on Film" 
retrospective at USC in February. 

Other more recent iconic docs include Kirby Dick's Sick: The 
Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist (1997) about 
performance artist Flanagan's battle with cystic fibrosis and his 
choice of masochism as an expressive mode. The film charts a 
circuit of underground practices and locations in a savvy and 
unsettling permutation of the L.A. imperative to capture and 
revere performance. 



Shotgun Freeway Drives through Lost L.A. (1996), an attempt 
to map the psychological geography of L.A. via an updated set 
of "ecologies" (borrowed from British architect Reyner 
Banham's canonical text on Los Angeles) , exemplifies a doc first 
produced for local television (KCET) that made it into theatri- 
cal distribution. The film is a pipeline to local gurus like Mike 
Davis (City of Quartz) , as well as being a primer on local indus- 
try and architecture. The film also features the quintessential 
trope of much L.A. documentary, namely the use of the auto 
and driving sequences to structure truth claims about the city. 

Recent L.A. production has, of course, been varied, from 
Mark Harris' critically acclaimed The Long Way Home about the 
struggles endured by Jews after the Holocaust, to Michelle 
LeBrun's moving portrait of her dying husband, Death: A Love 
Story, to Alexandra Juhasz's Women of Vision, which profiles 18 
feminist filmmakers. To bring all of L.A.'s documentary produc- 
tion together within one paradigm is silly — but there are two 
current trends that stand out. 

Technology and Esprit de Corps 

While these films suggest certain tropes and strategies, as well 
as a history that's been generally overlooked, the big story in 
L.A. is the same as anywhere else: DV. But opinions are split on 
the format's usefulness. Jessica Yu, who won an Academy 
Award for her short, Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of 
Mark O'Brien, and who recently completed The Living Museum, 
about a mental institution in 
New York, refused to shoot her 
new doc on DV, primarily 
because she isn't thrilled with 
digital projection. Yu, who 
admits a certain "perverse 
Ludditeism," is concerned with 
the imminent decline of theatri- 
cally released documentaries 
shot and projected on film. 
"Digital projection," she says, "is 
a completely different aesthetic 
experience that needs to suit 
the subject matter." 

Yu predicts that the initial 
impact of new technologies sits 
squarely in the domain of distri- 
bution. Documentaries are difficult to see, and while streaming 
docs over the web is probably much farther away than the cur- 
rent hype suggests, the revolution will happen in the domain of 
self-distribution, at which point, Yu claims, "Documentary lifes- 
pans will go through the roof." 

Adopting the opposite position is Jon Reiss, the current 
poster child for the digital aesthetic. Reiss used a DV camera to 
shoot Better Living Through Circuitry, a documentary capturing 
the kinetics of underground rave and electronic music culture, 




34 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



and says this film could only happen because of advances in dig- 
ital cameras, which allowed the filmmaker to shoot in particu- 
larly unobtrusive ways in hidden milieus. 

Reiss, who has made several award-winning music videos and 
a narrative feature, was won over by the DV format. "If you've 
ever considered making a documentary," Reiss asserts, "the 
time is now. There's so little money involved in it — -you can buy 
a camera for around $1,500 bucks. Then you can go out and 
shoot." Noting that the technology has changed dramatically 
even since Better Living, Reiss cites Firewire and the elimination 
of expensive beta transfers. "You get Final Cut Pro and an iMac 
and you're set," Reiss enthuses. 

Joining Yu, Reiss feels the most imminent funkiness of the 
transitional period revolves around documentary distribution. 
Audiences may never be willing to download a 90-minute doc- 
umentary, but they'll certainly look for them on the web and 
maybe, Reiss theorizes, we'll see a renaissance of the short for- 
mat documentary. Indeed, several L.A. filmmakers share that 
vision. L.A.-based writer Shari Roman, working in collabora- 
tion with Sophie Fiennes, packed a DV camera and hopped on 
a plane for Copenhagen to make the well-received portrait of 
Lars von Trier titled Lars From I -10, while Ellen Dux and Brian 
Neale are currently finishing work on a DV profile of sci-fi guru 
William Gibson (which, again, uses the streets of L.A. and the 
backseat of a car as its set and location). 

Let's Talk About Sex 

While the Internet offers a new distribution outlet and short 
docs may have a shot at renewed attention, documentaries still 
share the stigma of being, as Reiss puts it, "unsexy." To counter 
that impression, several L.A. filmmakers have made sex the 
topic o( their docs. Albert and Allen Hughes, known for their 
narrative features Menace II Society and Dead Presidents, two 
years ago made American Pimp, a documentary examining the 
lives and philosophies of working and retired pimps across the 
country. Framed by archival footage, blaxploitation clips, and 
an intoxicating music soundtrack, urban pimps hold forth about 
the details of their enterprise, and in the process, offer a 
scathing critique of the American way, while indirectly suggest- 
ing parallels between — surprise! — prostitution and the 
Hollywood film industry. 

Although American Pimp may offer a source of inspiration for 
feature filmmakers who are considering forays into documen- 
tary, it is also a reminder of the difference between narrative 
and documentary when it comes to capturing audience share. 
Even with their combination of name recognition, record 
industry financing, and rave reviews at Sundance, it took two 
years for the Hughes to secure theatrical distribution from 
Seventh Art Releasing. 

Another L.A. filmmaker who has built a career on often sala- 
cious documentary content is U.K. native Nick Broomfield, 
whose first-person investigations have included subjects such as 




legalized prostitution in Las Vegas; Aileen 
Wournos, the first lesbian serial killer; 
"Hollywood Madame" Heidi Fleiss; and the underground S/M 
fetish club scene in New York. Broomfield, who has been one of 
L.A.'s most prolific and provocative filmmakers, takes a rather 
dim view of the kind of documentary production that the city 
most actively supports. "To put it in a disparaging way, I'm fas- 
cinated and pleased that people love documentary, but it's 
down-market documentary. It's below street level. It's in the 
sewers," he says. 

For Broomfield, Los Angeles has become a center for "numb- 
skull programming," in the form of reality TV. However, he also 
admits that "there's more of a network here and more money. 
L.A. is only about making films, so there's money for produc- 
tion, but a specific kind of production. And right now, it's all 
oriented toward exploitation." 

Although Broomfield himself is known for films that take on 
difficult, sometimes taboo subjects, he has begun to view the 
focus on sensational subject matter as a double-edged sword. "If 
you want to make 
films about S/M 
parlors and Kurt 
Cobain, you can 
do that until the 
cows come home, 
but if you want to 
do something 
that's less imme- 
diate and emo- 



"L.A. is only about making films, 

so there's money for production, 

but a specific kind of production. 

And right now, it's all oriented 

toward exploitation." 

— Documentan'an Nick Broomfield 







tional, something that's insightful and might require a bit more 
thought on the part of the audience, or something with politi- 
cal content or historical relevance, it's harder now than ever to 
do it." 

Broomfield is currently working on a feature with financing 
from Film Four in Britain and is also doing a reality-based com- 
edy show for Comedy Central. For hope in the world of docu- 
mentary, he turns not to Fox, but to the old school, particularly 
Frederick Wiseman, who has single-handedly kept alive the tra- 
dition of cinema verite. "Frederick Wiseman is the person I 
most admire in the world," he says. "It's almost impossible to 
make the kind of films he makes. It's a miracle he's still making 
them." Broomfield continues, "I'm not somebody who's a con- 
ventional journalist by any means, but I think it's a real tragedy 
that the old school has been thrown out so completely. The 
multiplicity of media right now provides less information than 
we've ever had." 

So clearly opinion in L.A. is split regarding the influence of 
new financing and distribution resources, and the prospects 
offered by digital video. But one thing is definitely clear- peo 
pie are making more nontiction movies than ever before. 

Karen Voss is a doctoral candidate at I 'S( "s .V/io<>l 0/ Cmema- ! \. .; 
freelance writer and general enthusiast oj dw independent ethos. 



April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 35 




OVER THE PAST 30 YEARS, LATINO MEDIAMAKERS HAVE HAD 
to do it themselves. Whether mainstream or alternative, 
they've strived to counter Hollywood-perpetuated stereo- 
types of Latinos as maids, gardeners, and drug dealers. 
Breakthrough films like Gregory Nava's El Norte (1983), Luis Valdez' 
La Bamba (1987), Ramon Menendez' Stand and Deliver (1988), 
Edward James Olmos' American Me (1992), and Nava's Mi Familia 
(1995) reflect not only a different side of Los Angeles than Hollywood 
could ever muster, but also show the world a truer rendering of the 
Latino experience while demonstrating its diversity. These films have 
also paved the way for a new generation of Latino filmmakers, who 
have taken the politicized agenda of their forebearers in diverse and 
interesting directions. 

The Latino filmmaking community had its roots in the turbulent 
1960s, when such young activists as Moctezuma Esparaza, Jesus 
Trevino, and Silvio Morales organized a series of high school walkouts 
in 1968 in East L.A. Two years later, as film students at UCLA, they 
borrowed cameras to document the August 1970 Chicano Moratorium 
against the Vietnam War, one of the biggest peace demonstrations in 
Southern California. "It was political events like that which shaped the 
first generation of filmmakers," says Chon Noriega, associate professor 
at the UCLA School of Film, Theater, and Television. "What I find 
interesting interviewing filmmakers from that period is seeing their 
work. They were doing innovative stuff because they didn't know any 
better; they didn't know the rules. They were making up a lot of things 
that in hindsight were really quite pioneering, particularly in terms of 
social documentary or public affairs films. Aesthetically that was the 
first wave of mixing of social movement activity and ignorance of the 
conventions of mass media." 

Public television played a major role in nurturing the early genera- 
tion of Latino filmmakers. El Norte, Stand and Deliver, Zoot Suit, and 
others were all produced by PBS's now defunct American Playhouse. 
Although PBS continues to showcase Latino media on such programs 
as P.O.V, Independent Lens, and through local stations, public televi- 
sion's impact is perhaps not as great today, due to the decline in pub- 



lic funding and the emergence of other media. 

With public broadcasting's diminished role as a major resource and 
outlet, the current generation of Latino filmmakers — Lalo Lopez, Jose 
Luis Valenzula, and Miguel Arteta among them — have, like their pre- 
decessors, forged their own paths. Their aesthetic strategies reflect a 
sense of making-do without Hollywood and creating their own distinc- 
tive visions of what filmmaking can and ought to be. 

Lalo Lopez came to filmmaking from agitprop comedy theater and 
cartooning, and his media work with his company Pocho Productions 
reflects both sensibilities. Lopez and his partner, video artist Esteban 
Zul, have taken a grassroots approach to exhibition, marketing their 
work on their website [www.pocho.com], through their 800 number, 
and on tour to schools in Southern California. Lopez and his contem- 
poraries have been turning their estrangement from the industry into 
an asset. "All my friends are doing music videos for all these new 
Chicano bands," he says. "It's a necessity; no big record company will 
pay for someone they don't know, so our community gets to make those 
videos. We're so shut out of the industry, we just had to do it. It's self- 
contained." 

Jose Luis Valenzuela also comes from a theater background. His lat- 
est film, Luminarias, will get a limited release through KitParker/New 
Latin Pictures commencing May 5 in L.A., and will be distributed 
internationally by Alex Mendoza and Associates. The film was origi- 
nally produced as a play, written by Valenzuela's wife, Evelina 
Fernandez. Rather than seek out producers to finance their film, 
Valenzuela and Fernandez went directly to Latino professionals in their 
community. "It was a great experience," he reflects. "It was an attempt 
to talk to our friends who aren't in filmmaking [and tell them] that this 
is really the way we should go as a community . . . telling a story the 
way uie want and learning a language for Latino filmmaking. It should 
be our own. It was a different way of thinking about how to make a 
film; we were all participants, like a grassroots co-op." 

Luminarias is a romantic comedy about four professional Latina 
women looking for love in multicultural Los Angeles. A sort of Latina 
Waiting to Exhale, the film mines new territory beyond the well-trod- 



36 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



den, gang-ridden turf of American Me and Blood In, Blood Out. "One of 
the reasons we're filmmakers," says Valenzuela, "is we're tired of the 
gang issue and of the poor [being explored in films]. We're looking at 
other social levels. The women in Luminarias — one falls in love with a 
Korean, one falls in love with a Jewish guy, one falls in love with a 
Mexican — this is what the city is all about. So it's more about the idea 
that our community is broader, bigger, and more visionary, and it's 
never been portrayed that way." 

Miguel Arteta is another rising Latino director, who first penetrated 
industry awareness with Star Maps, a darkly tragicomic look at Latino 
culture in Los Angeles. Arteta is not a Los Angeles native; rather, he 
prides himself on being a lifelong foreigner. He was born in Puerto 
Rico, of Peruvian and Spanish parents, and lived in Costa Rica and 
Spain before eventually moving to the United States. "I think that 
being a foreigner has a little to do with [my becoming a filmmaker] " he 
notes. "I've been looking at all these communities from outside, and 
having an outsider's perspective is good thing for a filmmaker." 

This outsider's perspective allows for extra- cultural exploration. 
Arteta's latest work, Sundance favorite Chuck and Buck, is not intrin- 
sically Latino in theme; it examines the intricacies and ambiguities of 
friendships that thrive in the innocence of childhood and die in the 
harsh commerce of adulthood. "It's much more of a character study," 
Arteta says of the film. "I'm interested in branching out and being able 
to tell any kind of story. I think one of the good things that a commu- 
nity can do is not to forget to tell your own stories but also to be able 
to tell any kind of story that just happens to have Latinos in it. I'm try- 
ing to do both — I'm trying to represent different kinds of voices from 
the Latino community and also just simply have movies that are out 
there, that have a lot of Latino talent involved ... I think that Latino 

filmmakers are starting to 
say, 'Let's just do work.' 
And that's very good for 
the community, as well." 

The generation of Latino 
mediamakers that came out 
of the Chicano movement 
has achieved a fair share of 
success in the industry: 
Gregory Nava has a 10-pic- 
ture deal with New Line 
Cinema; Jesus Trevino is 
producing and directing the cable series Resurrection Boulevard for 
Showtime; Edward James Olmos is not only acting and producing, but 
also chairs the National Latino Broadcasting Project; and Moctezuma 
Esparza produces films for both cable television and theatrical release 
{Selei\a). 

And now the old guard is reaching out to the young turks: Lalo 
Lopez and Esteban Zul caught Nava's attention, and he hired them to 
write a comedy for New Line. "When Greg got the opportunity to start 
mining whatever's out there creatively," says Lopez, "he came to us... 
despite whatever political stuff we've been doing. Greg and 
Moctezuma are going out and looking, seeking what's there. People 
like us have been toiling away in our own community because, one, 
that's what we love doing, and two, nobody else would have us any- 
way." He adds, "They're running out of stuff; that's why they're com- 
ing to U.S." 

The intergenerational dynamic is both nurturing and mildly con- 
tentious. The politically charged work of the 1970s has largely, and 




Cheech Marin in Luminarias 



Defenders of the free world: 
Pocho Productions' Lopez and 
Zul market themselves in 
The Mex Files poster. 

Making progress: Miguel 
Arteta's Chuck & Buck uses 
colorblind casting, using 
Latina actors like Lupe 
Ontiveros in non-ethnic roles. 



perhaps naturally, evolved into something more commercial ami >riL' the 
older generation, while for their younger counterparts, sentiments are 
oriented as much to independent and experimental work as they are to 
the industry. "You've always had people who've wanted to work 
through Hollywood," Chon Noriega maintains, "but they want to pre- 
sent things that Hollywood is not dealing with. What those people 
have wanted to say has changed from those who were tied to the civil 
rights movement to those who really identified more as Generation X 
or slackers. There's an underlying set of concerns and principles they 
share, but the aesthetics and rhetoric are very different." 

Nava's company, El Norte Productions, has been a vital resource for 
the younger generation of filmmakers. Susana Zepeda, the company's 
vice president in charge of film development, recalls, "When I first met 
with Greg, he said, 'I don't want people to 
be reinventing the wheel; I don't want 
people to have to go through that again. I 
want to build a company where we can 
give opportunities to other Latinos and 
other people of color just to tell their sto- 
ries under our banner.' " 

And while companies like El Norte 
Productions are working to close the gen- 
eration gap, Los Angeles 
abounds with other groups 
that keep the Latino com- 
munity thriving. Latin Heat, 
a publication headed by for- 
mer actress Bel Hernandez, 
has been a vital resource for 
mediamakers in helping to 
make connections and forge 
ties; Hernandez also spear- 
heads the annual Latino 
Entertainment Industry Con- 
ference [www.latinheat.com 
On a grassroots level, media 
organizations such as NALIP 
[CAC@intermediaArt. 
org], Independent Feature 
Project/West, and the 
Sundance Institute have 
played important roles in 
reaching out to local talent, 
as has the local theater 
community, including Plaza 
de la Raza and the Latino 
Theater Initiative Program 
at the Mark Taper Forum. 

"I would encourage film- 
makers from all communities to tune in and gel your Chicano passport 
stamped, because it's an incredibly talented community," Arteta 
asserts. "We all have to encourage young Latino filmmakers to pick up 
a digital camera and tell a story. There are no excuses anymore. Thev 
need to look to themselves, not to Hollywood, The best «.u i 
power is within, with your own lives and your own >>hsct\ ations " 

Humus Willie is associate cditot >l lntern.HUMt.il Documentary 




\pnl 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 37 




Visual Communications (VC) and 
L.A. Freewaves (LAF), two of L.A.'s 
oldest media arts organizations, have 
recently joined forces to create Open 
Studio/L.A., a series of free workshops on web design targeted to visu- 
al artists, writers, and musicians. These two stalwarts of alternative 
media art are linking arms with OnRampta sunset, a neighborhood 
computer access center in Echo Park. And this collaboration should- 
n't be underestimated. In an era when public funding of the arts has 
disgracefully diminished to record-level lows, and in a city where 
industrial strategies and profit motivations threaten to monopolize all 



Freewaves attempts to link gy J I M MORAN 

the city's neighborhoods 
with on ramps and intersections. 

Indeed, "All Over the Map," the sixth and most recent edition, held 
in the fall of 1998, was an apropos appellation for the series of events 
spread out like Los Angeles itself, decentered and shifting on the fault 
lines of a hundred flowering subcultures. One of the festival's high- 
lights was a series of video bus tours, during which festival curators led 
viewers throughout the city, showcasing particular places that resonat- 
ed with the videos screened on board. Weird? Sure, but also strangely 
perfect, especially for L.A. Imagine curator Ma standing at the front of 



SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST 

How L.A. Freewaves & Visual Communications 
do the things they do. 



media production, the odds against avant-garde media thriving in the 
shadow of the Hollywood sign would seem impossibly steep. But both 
of these media arts organizations have managed to stay afloat, mainly 
by being attentive to the ever-shifting needs of their constituents, 
maintaining an adventurous outlook, and working collaboratively with 
other organizations. 

L.A. Freewaves: 
Finding Faultlines and Connections in the LA Sprawl 

Celebrating its 10th anniversary last year, L.A. Freewaves is an ever- 
growing agglomeration of people and places, all dedicated to fostering 
alternative media. While the organization is physically based in the 

cramped liv- 
ing room of 
founder 
Anne Bray 
(with spill- 
over in festi- 
val director 
Ming Ma's 
Silverlake 
home, zeal- 
ously guard- 
ed by a 
voraciously 
affectionate 
German 
Shepherd 
pup named 

Lupe), it nevertheless manages to spread throughout the city with 
impressive fervor during each biannual festival. 

Undaunted by the region's sprawl and by its lack of obvious centers, 
Bray and Ma have exploited and celebrated Southern California's dis- 
persal of resources as a strength rather than a disadvantage. Each fes- 
tival infiltrates the entire city, with venues scattered through all com- 
munities. And that's appropriate — after all, a significant connotation 
of the organization's name puns on the "freeways" that have acceler- 
ated L.A.'s transient nature since the rise of the automobile; like them, 




Above & right: some digital art projects from Open Studio, 
a collaboration among old and new media groups. 



a nicely appointed and air-conditioned bus riffing on voyeurism and 
video, while just outside, hookers and transvestites strut up and down 
Santa Monica Boulevard. Later, as the viewers step out of the bus, Ma 
points out a surveillance camera, and they shift from being the com- 
fortable voyeurs to being the objects of the camera's gaze. 

Another year's festival was staged in a series of artist-designed liv- 
ing rooms at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Like the bus tours, this 
wacky framing device reminded viewers about the very process of view- 
ing, as well as the dynamics of public and private. And that's what LAF 
does so well — make people experience the process of viewing in a way 
that makes us think. 

Part of all this attention to the hows and whys comes from Bray 
herself. She always thinks long and hard about video and what it can 
and can't do. This year, LAF's 7th Celebration of Experimental Media 
will be held in November 2000, and as always, it will be curated by a 
group of video artists and enthusiasts, and will most probably feature 
yet another inventive screening idea destined to make us reconsider 
how we watch what we watch. 

Visual Communications: From Asia to Chili 

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Visual Communications is 
the premier Asian Pacific media arts center in the U.S. Like LAF, VC 
services the entire alternative media community in Los Angeles, but its 
particular mission is to promote intercultural understanding by pro- 
ducing, presenting, and preserving honest and sensitive stories about 
Asian Pacific people. 

Also like LAF, the centerpiece of its year-round programming is a 
festival. Beginning in 1983 and presented each May (18-25, 2000), the 
Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film and Video Festival is both intense in 
terms of the sheer number of projects screened and incredibly celebra- 
tory — the vibe is always one of enthusiasm and excitement as viewers 
check out the array of international projects, as well as new work by 
Asian-American makers. VC director Linda Mabalot, a lively and 
energetic promoter of Asian Pacific media, invariably speaks with 
impassioned fervor about the festival's highlights, while the festival's 
various participants juggle an incredibly eclectic slate of projects. 

In addition to its festival and various panels and screenings through- 
out the year, VC hosts one of the nation's most comprehensive collec- 



38 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



tions of images of Asian Pacific American life. 
Its traveling exhibit, "Heading East," chroni- 
cles American notions of freedom, democra- 
cy, and economic opportunity within the oral 
histories and photographs of the Asian Pacific 
settlers. Equally revisionist, VC's "Speak Out 
for Justice" video collection recounts the Los 
Angeles Commission Hearings on the war 
relocation of Americans of Japanese ancestry 
during World War II. VC also published a 
book in 1991, Moving the Image: Independent 
Asian Pacific American Media Arts, a much- 
needed attempt to address forgotten histories 
as well as tactical maneuvers for getting work 
out to audiences. 

And if all of this isn't enough, VC is also 
famous for its annual "ChiliVisions" event, 




during which eight Asian Pacific American 
community organizations compete for the 
Best Chili in Los Angeles award. Not only is 
the food damn good, but people throughout 
Los Angeles seem to relish the event's strange 
amalgamation of pleasures and its refusal of a 
narrowly defined cultural logic. 

With Open Studio/L.A., LAF conducts 
Internet training workshops at sites through- 
out Los Angeles, while VC provides artists 
with a free web site and email account. By 
assisting mediamakers in overcoming the 
technical hurdles and discovering the cre- 
ative and professional benefits of the 
Internet, both organizations prove yet again 
to have the innovative and visionary methods 
necessary to meet the evolving needs of the 
media artists they serve. Perhaps more signif- 
icantly, this successful partnership offers a 
model for other organizations struggling to 
survive by their own individual efforts. 

For more information, check out the L.A. 
Freewaves website at www.freewaves.org and 
Visual Communications at www.vctMiline.org 

Jim Moran is a teacher and writer 
based in Los Angeles. 



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April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 39 



THE BEST 
SILVER 




by Kate H aug 



SCREENS 

A film lover's guide to L.A.'s arthouses 
& alternative venues 

Los Angeles claims to be the film capitol 
of the world, but is it really a film town? 
True, the movie business pervades the city 
like Dolby surround sound — head shots are displayed in businesses 
from hot dog stands to hair salons; there's a constant din of indus- 
try talk; every social function has its paralyzing game of six degrees 
of separation; and seemingly 'familiar' faces are around every cor- 
ner. But the true test lies in its cinemas. What films can one see in 
L.A.? You'd expect to find every kind. And one does — but like 
everything else in Los Angeles, they're spread out. But if you search 
among the low-lying strip malls and sprawling multiplexes, along 
streets lined with palm trees, billboards, and parking lots, you'll find 
a plethora of arthouses, revival theaters, academic film centers, and 
alternative screens. 

If you browse the Art/Foreign section of moviefone.com or 
peruse the LA. Weekly, you're likely to find Landmark and 
Laemmle Theaters on the bill. Current specialized releases like All 
About M;y Mother, Holy Smoke, and Boys Don't Cry are usually found at 
these local arthouses, which, despite a sharp decline in the overall dis- 
tribution of international releases, remain staunchly devoted to more 
adventurous and foreign fare. Indeed, the Laemmles, a native 
Angelino family, are stalwart supporters of independent cinema and 
are known to lend a helping hand to the filmmaker inclined 
toward self-distribution. The Laemmle Sunset 5, for exam- 
ple, often exhibits four-walled films, and the other Laemmle 
theaters host local festi- 
val screenings and 
unusual events. 

Los Angeles' revival 
houses include everything 
from the totally unique Silent 
Movie Theater to the magnificence of 
American Cinematheque's beautifully restored 
Egyptian Theater. The New Beverly Cinema, 
one of my favorites, routinely serves up great double - 
hitters like Badlands and In Cold Blood, charging card- 
holders the economical rate of eight movies for $30. 
Lumpy seats might make it hard to sit through Andrei 
Rublev, but the fresh popcorn with real butter eases the 
pain. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) 
and UCLA Film and Television Archive regularly curate 
retrospectives from both national and foreign cinema. 
While LACMA tends to focus on personality driven cura- 




torial themes such as the recent Humphrey 

Bogart series, UCLA embraces a bigger, less star-driven cinematic 
world. Recent UCLA programs have included New Iranian cinema, 
musicals from around the world, and a Claude Chabrol retrospective. 
If you want to revel in the grandeur of old Hollywood, there are the 
classic venues. In the midst of the Mickey Mouse Co. revival 
of Hollywood, you can visit the Mann's Chinese or the El 
Capitan, both located on the newly spruced up Hollywood 
Boulevard. While the El Capitan is a plush, Disney operation, 
Mann's Chinese exploits tinsel town's kitschy roots. No one 
can deny the simple pleasure of pushing your feet into the foot- 
prints of Babylon's ne'er-do-wells, and imagining the Hollywood 
of a bygone era. 

In the summer, the Los Angeles Conservancy hosts The Last 
Remaining Seats, an annual series of celluloid classics. The 
Conservancy, primarily dedicated to architecture, sets the program in 
beautiful, aesthetically inspired downtown theaters. After the fall of 
the grand movie palace, unique places like the Cinerama Dome burst 
onto the scene. The great Sunset Boulevard dome — sadly, the last one 
in the world — was designed for Cinerama films. Built in 1963, the 
Cinerama Dome boasts a 'wrap around' screen which is second in size 
only to New York City's flat Radio City Music Hall theater. 

If you want to see some more adventurous feature fare, there are 
several alternative venues. Similar to New York City, people are screen- 
ing films everywhere — from bookstores to nightclubs to living rooms. 
The Alternative Screen: A Forum for Independent Film Exhibition 



40 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



and Beyond and The Santa Monica Film Festival and Moxie! Awards 
are two on-going series dedicated to introducing new work to potential 
distributors (both are open to submissions). They tend to promote new, 
low-budget features or other work with commercial potential. The 
Alternative Screen is hosted by the American Cinematheque at the 
landmark, 616-seat Egyptian Theater and was founded in 1995 by 
Margot Gerber and Thomas Harris. Gerber explains that Alternative 
Screen was founded before the recent growth in L.A.'s festival scene. 
"We would hear about films on the festival circuit," she 
says, "and nobody would get a chance to see them in Los 
Angeles unless you were a member of the industry. It was 
our goal to provide local audiences with the opportunity to 
see great films that debuted at festivals around the world." 
Recent screenings have included Temporary Girl by Lisa 
Kotin; Wadd, The Life and Times of John C. 
Holmes, by Cass Paley; Afraid of Everything, by 
David Barker; 24 Girls, by Eva Brzeski; and 
Sleep by Peter Calvin. 

The Santa Monica Film Festival and Moxie! 
Awards make up a year-round screening series that culmi- 
nates in an awards event. In addition to work selected from 
the monthly screenings, 45 national and foreign titles 
premiere at the Moxie! Awards. Albert De Quay, who 
founded the festival in 1997, has a distinct mission for 
his organization: "We're trying literally to create not 
only a film festival but an educational institution and year-round sup- 
port for independent filmmakers." 

If you seek experimental film, there are three venues committed to 
avant-garde traditions. On the West side, there is Documental, curat- 
ed by Gerry Fialka and presented at Santa Monica's Midnight Special 

Bookstore. In Hollywood, 
Filmforum runs weekly 
screenings at Los Angeles 
Contemporary Exhib- 
itions (LACE), and on 
the East side, Flicker Los 
Angeles runs a program 
at Spaceland, a nightclub 
in Silverlake. 

Documental, as the 
name suggests, is dedicat- 
ed to films that merge 
documentary and experi- 
mental traditions. Says 
Fialka, a Marshall Mc 
Luhan enthusiast, "My 
strategy is to show things 
where filmmakers are 
present and that will 
shake people out of their 
somnambulist state. My 
strategy is to needle the 
somnambulist. The rea- 
son why I show experi- 
that no 



- SCREEN SAVERS 


~ The Alternative Screen 


Film Forum 


..American Cinematheque 


Box 746 


1800 N. Highland, Ste. 717 


Hollywood, CA 90078 


— Los Angeles, CA 90028 


(323)526-2911 


(323) 466-F1LM 


www.filmforom.org 


— (323)461-2020 




www.americancinematheque.con 


i Documental 


v - ™ 


Gerry Fialka 


Santa Monica Film Festival 


(310)306-7330 


Series and Moxie! Awards 




3000 West Olympic Blvd. 


Los Angeles Contemporary 


Santa Monica, CA 90404 


Exhibitions (LACE) 


— (310)823-3323 


6522 Hollywood Blvd. 


(310)264-4274 


Hollywood, CA 


— moxie@smff.com 


(323)526-2911 


'rtww.smff.com 






Flicker in LA. 


Laemmle Theatres 


6310 Primrose Ave. 


— 11523 Santa Monica Blvd. 


Hollywood, CA 90068 


Los Angeles, CA 90025 


flicker@mekon.com 


""(310)478-1041 




l www.laemmle.com 


Beyond Baroque 




681 Venice Blvd, 


li_ Hollywood Shorts 


Venice, CA 90291 


1 15 N. First Street STE 208 


(310)822-3006 


Burbank, CA 91502 




(818)5572559 


Doboy's Dozens 


— hshorts@aol.com 


1525 N. Cahuonga Blvd. #39 


www.lalive.com/hollywoodshorts 


Hollywood, CA 90028 

(323)293-6544 




doboydozen@aol.com 


1 





mental film is 
one has ever 
how to watch 



learned 
them." 




He sees his events as a place where "the community can participate in 
a discussion of our culture and our politics." Thus hosting the screen- 
ings at Midnight Special, L.A.'s leading political book store, makes per- 
fect sense. Past screenings have included Johan Grimonprez's Dial H-l- 
S-T-O-R-Y, Brian Springer's Spin, Morgan Fisher's Standard Gauge, and 
Amy Halpern's Falling Lessons. Fialka also runs PXL This, a festival 
dedicated to the Fisher-Price PXL 2000, that ever-alluring kid's cam. 

Founded in 1975, Filmforum is Los Angeles' oldest independent 
venue. Filmforum primarily curates shows of established media artists. 
Recently there has been a strong line-up of retrospectives featuring 
Southern California media artists like James Benning, Betzy 
Bromberg, and Erika Suderburg. Filmforum frequently 
works with similarly minded institutions like CalArts and 
the Goethe Institute to present programs of national and 
international avant-garde work. Director Mark 
Ranee comments, "The artists we show are peo- 
ple who really investigate the language of cine- 
ma, video, digital media and improve upon that 
vocabulary. I don't want to program low-budget fea- 
tures unless I find the subject matter or the aesthetic 
challenging." 

Flicker director Norwood Cheek describes Flicker 
Los Angeles as a "more informal, in-your-parents'- 
basement atmosphere." Holding six shows per year, 
Flicker gives out rolls of Super 8 film and $100 Flicker 
grants to local filmmakers to, as the program notes say, "keep 
their filmic juices flowing." Flicker, which also hosts screenings 
in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Richmond, Virginia, concen- 
trates on exhib- 
iting Super 8 and 
16mm films, and 
for Cheek, Flicker 
is an inspirational 
event. "Some of 
my most favorite 
Flicker highlights 
are the out of 
focus, poorly lit 
films that just 
don't quite work. 
It makes filmmak- 
ing accessible. 
The person watch- 
ing who has been 
intimidated or 
shy now may 
think, 'I can do 
that. I can even 
do it in focus.' " 

There are still other screening events scattered throughout the 
city, from the recently established Doboy's Dozens and Hollywood 
Shorts (both monthly series for shorts) to screenings at Beyond 
Baroque, L.A.'s adventurous literary arts center which in the past 
has shown everything from gems made b\ Joseph Cornell to those 
of Oscar Micheaux. So it you come to Los Angeles looking tor a 
one-ot-a-kind movie experience, there is definitely a place for you. 



April A\Y THE INDEPENDENT 41 





Los Angeles is teeming with festivals, both 
new and old, each tied to a distinct agenda and 
defining mission. But despite the wide array of 
topics, genres, and formats, these festivals all share a familiar refrain — 
each wants to offer filmmakers much needed exposure to the com- 

kd lang (center) & friends at an OUTFEST Opening Night Gala 




with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the festival combines 
work by internationally known Asian filmmakers with that of Asian 
American directors like Gregg Araki, Philip Kan Gotanda, Ang Lee, 
Rico Martinez, Mina Shum, and Tran Trang. 

DOCtober: International Documentary Film Festival 

(October 2000) 

International Documentary Association, 1551 South Robertson Boulevard, 

Ste. 201, LA, CA 90035; (310) 284-8422; ida@artnet.net; www. 

documentary.org 

DOCtober, the International Documentary Association's annual film 
festival, was founded in 1997 in order to showcase the much neglect- 
ed documentary genre. The festival selects films they think are out- 
standing in some way and gives these films a qualifying run, making 
them eligible for an Academy Award nomination. The last festival 
screened 14 films over seven days and included Pop and Me, by Chris 
Roe; Legacy, by Tod S. Lending; Gibtown, by Melissa Shachat; and 
American Hollow, by Rory Kennedy. As its name suggests, DOCtober 

by Kate Haug 

*s&sr&»L.-*&L. osl^ hi am n 1 









mercial film industry. As a wise old realtor once said, "Location, loca- 
tion, location," and for many filmmakers and festival organizers, that 
sums up the advantage to festival screenings in LA. 

AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival 

(Late October 2000) 

2021 N. Western Ave., LA., CA 90027; (323) 856-7707; afifest@ 

afionline.org; www.afifest.com 

The American Film Institute's Los Angeles International Film Festival 
also has a long- established presence. In 1987, AFI took over Filmex, a 
well-known event hosted at the ABC mall in Century City. In its pre- 
sent incarnation, the strength of the AFI Fest lies in its premieres of 
international films. "We had the U.S. premiere of Life Is Beautiful," says 
festival director Jon Fitzgerald, who joined the AFI three years ago 
after co-founding and co-directing Slamdance. "From the 1999 pro- 
gram, we had three films that I think have a shot at the Best Foreign 
Language Oscar — Mifune, All About M} Mother, and Not of This 
World." The festival boasts five categories, including a showcase of 
American independent features and documentaries. Last year, the AFI 
took advantage of the recently revamped section of Hollywood and 
borrowed several of the city's prime venues for screenings, including 
the gorgeous new Egyptian Theater, the El Capitan, and the Vogue, all 
nestled close by on Hollywood Boulevard. 

Asian Pacific Film & Video Festival 

(May 18-25, 2000) 

do Visual Communications, 120 judge John Aiso St., L.A., CA 90012; 

(213) 680-4462 ext. 68; http://viscom.apanet.org/filmfest/index.html 

The Asian Pacific Film Festival was started in the early 1980s and had 
ties with UCLA. Visual Communications, the nonprofit organization 
that sponsors the festival, was a product of UCLA's ground-breaking 
Ethnocommunications Program. Presented every May in conjunction 



generally takes place in mid-October. The IDA also hosts DocuFest, a 
one-day marathon of films competing for IDA Awards. 

Hollywood Black Film Festival 

(February 24-28, 2000) 

1620 Centinela Ave., Ste. 204, Inglewood, CA 90302; (310) 348-3942; 

info@hbff.org; www.hbff.org 

Festival founder and director Tanya Kersey-Henley is building the 
Hollywood Black Film Festival into what she hopes will become a 
"Black Sundance." Kersey-Henley wants her festival to be known "as a 
place where Black filmmakers bring their works to be acquired by the 
industry and to make deals for future projects." Having just completed 
its second year, the festival was Kersey-Henley's response to a need: 
"There has never been a Black film festival in Hollywood for Black 
filmmakers." This year's programming includes 10 features, 27 shorts, 
five student films, and six documentaries. Kersey-Henley programs 
work that does not have major theatrical release and concentrates on 
showing a diverse look at Black life in America, including "slice of life, 
romantic tales, things for children, and family oriented programs." 

Los Angeles Independent Film Festival 

(April 13-18, 2000) 

5455 Wilshire Boulevard, Ste. 1500, LA, CA 90036; (323) 937-9155; 

info@laiff.com; www.laiff.com 

Founded in 1995, the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival (LAIFF) 
concentrates on American independent features, and over the last five 
years, has grown to six screens and an audience of over 30,000. 
Programming director Thomas Ethan Harris proudly states that the 
festival is ranked number five in the world for launching new talent by 
Chris Gore in his The Ultimate Film Festival Guide. "My main goal is to 
bring a new slate of American independent filmmakers to the fore- 
front," Thomas states. "That goes for both feature and short filmmak- 



42 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



ers. I really want this next generation." Harris says the LAIFF gives a lot of hands-on attention 
to festival participants. "We tend to connect our filmmakers, linking them to producer's reps, 
consultants — whatever we can do for the motion picture. We don't play as many films as 
Toronto or Sundance — we play only 30 features — but instead of breadth, we can be there for 
the filmmakers." Since festival founder and director Robert Faust left to join the web company 
MediaTrip, this will be the first edition under the new director, Richard Raddon. 

Los Angeles International Short Film Festival 

(Late September 2000) 

1260 North Alexandria Ave., LA, CA 90029; (323) 663-0242; www.lashortsfest.com 

Robert Arentz, founder and director of the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, also 
began his festival in reaction to an absence. Arentz recognizes that many filmmakers get their 




start through 
shorts, and he 
sees his festival 
as a necessary 
event to support emerging filmmakers. "If 
there is no forum to showcase their films, 
what is going to encourage them to keep on 
pursuing what they're doing?" he asks. Last 
year the festival screened 90 films in five cat' 
egories: drama, comedy, animation, documentary, and experimental. Arentz wants his event to 
have unique components. "You have to do more that just present the films," he explains. "The 
filmmakers have done that. That's their work. What is the festival director going to do to make 
the festival stand out and get the filmmakers and audience?" Answering his own challenge, 
Arentz held the last festival's experimental program outside under the stars at Barnsdale Art 
Park, and included numerous panels and demos for attendees, making the event educational as 
well as pleasurable. 

Outfest 

(July 6-16, 2000) 

1 125 N. McCadden Place, Ste. 235, LA, CA 90038; (323) 960-9200; www.outjest.com 

One of the oldest festivals in town is Outfest. Started in 1982 as a grassroots, UCLA student 
organization, Outfest is currently the largest cultural event for the gay community in Southern 
California and draws the biggest audience of all the L.A. festivals. Development director Scott 
Meckling describes the programming as "truly an array — transgendered, international, features, 



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Long Island International 
Film Expo 2000 

Seeks Submissions for 
July 14-20 Film Festival 

* 

Short and Feature length films, 

all genres considered. 

If accepted, ability to screen 

in 16mm, 35mm and VHS Video. 

Cut off date May 15. 

For application, please email 

debfilm^ aol.com 

or call 516-571-3168 

The Long Island International Film Expo 

is under the auspices of the 
Long Island Film & TV Foundation and 
the Nassau County Film Commission 

• • 



April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 43 




Breakout Independent Film Festival 

June 16-23, 2000, State Theatre, 
Pasadena, California 



features and shorts 

• prizes & parties 

* acting symposium and seminar 

• tel. (310) 535-9230 

•fax (310) 535-9128 

Email: wrldclssprts@earthlink.net 

• www.methodfest.com 

Final Entry Deadline April 24 




Call for Entries 




FIL/VY FESTIVAL 

lltk Annul film/Video Festival 

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center 
May 1 8th-2 1st, 2000 

Call or Write for Entry Forms (Due 4/1/00) 

Christopher Cooke, Director 

Long Island Film Festival 

c/o P.O. Box 13243 

Hauppauge, NY 11788 

1-800-762-4769 . (516) 853-4800 

From 10:00am-6pm, Mon-Fri 

or visit our website at www.lifilm.org 



shorts, 35mm, 16mm, video, experimental, 
animation — really a gamut." Meckling sees 
Outfest as "a nexus for new filmmakers to 
come to Hollywood and have the opportuni- 
ty to meet with professionals in the industry 
and learn from them. It's become literally part 
of our mission — to be a bridge between the 
filmmaking community and the entertain- 
ment industry." 

ResFest Digital Film Fest 
(Early November) 

1 09 Minna Street, Ste. 
390, San Francisco, 
CA 94W5; (415) 
4 3 7-2686; 
resfest (cyresfest. 
com; www.resfest.com 



PLUG, a film, by USC 
students shown at the 
San Francisco-based 
RESFest Digital Film 
Festival, which travels 
to N.Y & L.A. 




Yet another highlight in the L.A. festival 
scene is Res Fest, the travelling festival of dig- 
ital shorts (and some features) organized by 
San Francisco -based Res Magazine. Thanks 
to the flurry of interest in digital filmmaking 
techniques, this year's L.A. festival, which 
took place over the first weekend in 
November, was a tremendous success, with 
most screenings sold out to audiences hungry 
for info and eager to see the latest in DV film- 
making. 




44 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



Every city has its hidden secrets and special 
resources, and L.A. is no exception. At the top 
of the list of unique, unbelievably necessary 
places would have to be Eddie Brandt's 
Saturday Matinee Video. Located off the 
beaten track way up in North Hollywood, 
this video store houses a treasure trove of 
impossible - to -find y^l 




array of media artists hosted sound/image 
installations and performances, like an arty 
rave in downtown L.A. FAR deserves inclu- 
sion here for continuing to insist that public 
events discussing media are important, and 
for hosting events that push the boundaries 
of genre and media. 

Collector's 

Holly Willis Bookstore 

has a dizzying 

array of Hollywood memorabilia, including 

stills, scripts, old film magazines, movie 

posters, and files for classic films which 

include 35mm slides made from vintage 

release prints available for purchase. If you're 

a found footage filmmaker, Collector's also 

sells 35mm trailers from studio releases, 

which could form the basis of many an 

interesting new film project. The other two 

main sources for memorabilia are Cinema 



videos — including vintage 
TV shows and exploita- 
tion films. The staffers at 
this family-owned book- 
store tend to be cranky or eccentric, but they're also cinephiles who go 
back several generations. So if you overlook the dysfunctionality and 
grumpiness, you'll find amazing stuff. 

L.A. is also home to several excellent film bookstores, including 
Samuel French and Larry Edmunds, both located in Hollywood, but 
the best source for smart, new, theory-based film and video titles is the 
Occidental College Bookstore in Eagle Rock. Run with an unrivaled 
enthusiasm by Dennis Johnson, this L.A. cultural highlight can broad- 
en your horizons by introducing new theories, new cinemas, and new 
filmmakers, and Johnson is ever helpful. If you don't see the obscure 
title you need, just ask, and he'll order it immediately. 

If you're seeking hand-written notes by Irving Thalberg regarding 
the cuts necessary to reduce Erich von Stroheim's nine-hour Greed to 
a respectable two-hour version, or the insider's story on Marilyn 
Monroe during the making of The Misfits, go to the Margaret Herrick 
Library at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 
Located in a recently refurbished and amazing building on La Cienega, 
the library is an astounding resource, with clipping files on every 
American director, producer, screenwriter, and actor, as well as pristine 
copies of every issue of every film journal ever published (or so it 
seems!). Bring your white gloves for reviewing the thousands of studio 
prints going all the way back to the origins of cinema, and your driver's 
license, too — the frequently stern guard at the gate will let you in, but 
only if you can prove you're you ! 

Founded in 1977, the Foundation for Art Resources has been a 
consistent contributor to the discussion of art in L. A., and occasional- 
ly that discussion turns toward film and video. FAR also hosts FAR 
Bazzar, a collective, usually site-specific exhibition of installations and 
performances that's decidedly more bizarre than bazaar. In 1997, the 
event was titled SaFARi and was held at the old Los Angeles zoo in 
Griffith Park, with artists taking up residence in long-abandoned cages. 
More recently, FAR hosted Sonopticon, an event during which an 



Collectors, which is somewhat smaller, but has nicer materials, and 
Hollywood Book and Poster, which has a slightly smaller inventory. 
(Strangely enough, the staff at all three places tends toward surliness, 
but again, persevere for best results — you won't find this stuff anywhere 
else in the world.) 

Film preservationist Bill Moritz is known to have a temper, too 
(always for good reason), but his work restoring the classic films of 
Oskar Fischinger and collecting and preserving experimental films in 
general make him a local hero. Moritz teaches classes on the history of 
the avant-garde at CalArts, and helped establish the Absolut Panushka 
web site with colleague Christine Panushka. His essay on the history of 
experimental animation on the site is a must-read for all filmmakers 
[www.panushka.absolutvodka.com], and his general dedication to the 
art of cinema is an inspiration. 

Gerry Fialka is yet another exemplary devotee of cinema. With no 
institutional affiliation whatsoever, Fialka has for several years curated 
both Documental and PXL This, programs of experimental work that 
screen in local book- and videostores. Thanks to Fialka's penchant for 
the weird and wild, L.A. gets to see material we wouldn't otherwise. 

For filmmakers wanting to make movies rather than watch them, 
Christy's Editorial in Burbank offers the usual state-of-the-art digital 
editing equipment, but more importantly, it seems to be the last place 
where you can still buy double-pert splicing tape and rent a Steenbeck 
(one of those old-fashioned editing machines). Christy's also publishes 
"In Sync", a newsletter that lists used equipment available tor sale and 
rent and is an invaluable resource tor filmmakers working on a budget. 

Another resource for the filmmaker on a tight budget is Studio Film 
and Tape, which specializes in studio recanned film (short ends) 
repackaged and sold at cut-rate prices, as well as "one-pass" videotape 
of sometimes dubious quality but unbeatable prices. 

Finally, tor filmmakers needing to let ofl some steam. Al's Bar. a 
seedy dive in downtown L.A., still, after many years, continues to host 
low-tech, small-gauge film events. Where else in 1 .A, can you have a 
beer, watch a super 8 movie .\nd get into a brawl, all at the same time.' 



April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 45 




Q. & info 




PHAEDRA CINEMA 



BY LlSSA GlBBS 



5455 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 
1403, Los Angeles, CA 
! 90036; (323) 938-9610; fax: 
(323) 938-9731; www.phae- 
dracinema.com; info@ 
phaedracinema.com 
Contacts: Gregory Hatanaka, 
President & CEO (left); 
Roseann Cherenson, 
Executive Vice President (right); Taka Arai, Sr. VP 
Co-Productions and Creative Services; Steven 
Slome, Manager, Theatrical Sales 

What is Phaedra Cinema? 

We are an theatrical distributor of independent films — 
both arthouse films and multiplex fare. 

Who is Phaedra? 

Gregory Hatanaka, president & CEO; Roseann 
Cherenson, executive vice president; Taka Arai, Snr. VP 
co-productions and creative services; and Steven 
Slome, manager, theatrical sales. 



Total number of employees: 

Six. 

How, when, and why did Phaedra come into being? 

We started the company in late 1996 as a result of 
going to film festivals and seeing terrific films that 
weren't getting distribution in the U.S. 

Unofficial motto or driving philosophy: 

Employment requirement: Must have fireman's train- 
ing — also known as the ability to put out "fires!" 

What would people be most surprised to learn 
about Phaedra or its founders and/or key staff? 

That president Gregory Hatanaka is currently making 
his acting and directorial debut with a feature currently 
in production. 

How many works are in your collection? 

56. 

Films and filmmakers you distribute: 



What drives you to acquire the films you do? 

Unfortunately, some business concerns always enter 
the picture, but the most important thing is that we 
must really have a passion for any film that we take on. 




(Clockwise from top): 
Caroleen Feeny & Saul 
Rubinek in Jonathan 
Kaufer's Bad Manners 

Alexa Jago & David Alex 
Rosen in Tina 
Valinsky's Soft Toilet 
Seats. 

David Pillsbury in 
Thomas Johnson's, 
David Elton's & Eric 
Tiguini's film Jerome. 

Takeshi "Beat" Kitano 
& Kazuya Kimura star 
in Gonin, directed by 
Takshi Ishii 



The Terrorist, L'Ennui, Just A Little Harmless Sex, Love 
Etc., The Taxman. Fever Pitch, Portraits Chinois, 
Floating, Men Cry Bullets, Gonin, La Separation; and 
the cult classic Master of the Flying Guillotine. 

What types of works do you distribute? 

Right now we acquire only feature-length films in 
35mm, but we do have a few 16mm films in our cata- 
logue. We acquire films from all over the world — new 
films and classic re-issues. 



We usually select films by "committee," but if any one 
of us has a personal passion for a film, we will almost 
certainly acquire it. 

Is Phaedra also involved in co-production or co- 
financing of works? 

We are currently involved in our first two co-produc- 
tions, and we're very involved in helping raise the 
financing for those films. These films will be distributed 
by Phaedra, but at this point, as the films are still both 



46 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



in the preproduction and development phases, we can't 
really tell you more about our distribution plans for them 
at this time. Ask us again later this year! 

Is there such a thing as a "Phaedra" film? 

Usually it is a little gem that was overlooked by the big- 
ger indies, but our films have so many faces — French 
relationship dramas, an Indian psychological thriller, 
American romantic comedies, a kung fu film from the 
70s, a 3-D animation, and so on. I don't think we can 
really coin one type of film as a "Phaedra film." We are 
very eclectic in our tastes. 

You carry a few titles by noted Asian American inde- 
pendents. Is this a deliberate choice in the develop- 




ment of your collection or a particular business 
strategy? 

It was very much a deliberate choice, as there were 
some wonderful Asian American indies out there, near- 
ly all being overlooked by other distributors. We felt 
there was a strong niche market for these films that will 
only continue to grow and which we strongly support. 
Our biggest successes in this market so far are Yellow 
and Strawberry Fields. 



Best known title in Phaedra's collection: 

The Indian film The Terrorist, or depending how much of 
a cult film aficionado you are, the 1970s kung fu epic 
Master of the Flying Guillotine. 

What's your basic approach to releasing a title? 

Creative promotions and heavy booking. 

Where do Phaedra titles generally show? 

We book our films all over the country, from Hawaii and 
Alaska to Maine and Florida. We play both with arthouse 
chains and theaters such as Landmark and Laemmle 
and, in some cases, we also go the studio multiplex 
route, playing with multiplex chains such as AMC, 
United Artists, and Carmike. 

Where do you find your titles and how should film- 
makers approach you for consideration? 

We attend many of the major festivals and markets 
including Sundance, AFM, Cannes, LAIFF, Toronto, 
MIFED, and IFFM in acquisition mode, but we do acquire 
many of our films from Los Angeles distributor screen- 
ings and from cassettes sent to our office. We are con- 
tacted regularly by phone, fax, and increasingly by 
email, from producers who have seen our web site. We 
really don't get involved in finishing funds, so we rarely 
look at a work-in-progress unless the producers plan to 
finish the film themselves. 

Range of production budgets of titles in your collec- 
tion: 

From "no budget" to $10 million. 

Biggest change at Phaedra in recent years: 

We have grown from a one-man operation releasing 
strictly specialty fare to a six-person company which is 
now acquiring and releasing more commercial (multi- 
plex) titles. 

Most important issue facing Phaedra today: 

The studios are increasingly getting into the indie distri- 
bution field and producing in-house much more homog- 
enized, name-driven, bigger budget fare. This makes it 
much harder for the truly indie distributor to compete 
for screens and to garner press attention for a film that 
doesn't have a "name" cast and a multi-million dollar 
ad budget. Another major concern is the glut of indie 
films in the marketplace right now. Now that anyone 
with a DV camera and an iMac can make a film cheap- 
ly, the market is only going to get more glutted in the 
next few years. There are often as many as two or three 
distributor screenings a day now and as a small com- 
pany, we just can't possibly cover all those screenings 
of available films. But we have to try so that we don't 
overlook that one special gem. 

Where will Phaedra be 10 years from now? 
Still supporting unique voices. 

You knew you'd made it as a company when . . . 

in our first year, we got an actual office with a dedicat- 
ed fax line! 



Best distribution experience you've had lately: 

Our success with The Terrorist has been one of the best 
experiences a distributor can have — finding an over- 
looked film that we are incredibly passionate about and 
releasing it to great critical and exhibitor and public 
support. But as we are only just getting into the expan- 
sion of the release, it's even better to know that the 
best is yet to come! 

If you weren't distributing films, what would you be 
doing? 

Running a revival repertory theater like the New Beverly 
Cinema in Los Angeles. 

Other distributors which you admire and why: 

Miramax's Harvey Weinstein for his incredible eye and 
marketing genius; New Yorker Films and Cowboy 
Booking for their incredible passion for each and every 
one of their films and filmmakers. 

The best film you've seen lately was . . . 

Nicolas Roeg's Bad Timing. 

The difference between Phaedra and other distrib- 
utors of independent films is . . . 

that we don't just have one type or budget level of film 
we distribute. 

If you could only give independent filmmakers one 
bit of advice, it would be to . . . 

have a unique vision and something original to convey. 
And do not make a film for yourself. If it has no audi- 
ence, it is little more than a really expensive paper- 
weight. 

Upcoming titles to watch for: 

Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists, the first motion cap- 
ture 3-D animation, featuring voices by Brendan Fraser 
and Leonard Nimoy; Went to Coney Island on a Mission 
from God — Be Back by Five by Richard Schenkman. 
starring Jon Cryer, lone Skye, and Frank Whaley; Too 
Tired to Die by Wonsuk Chin with Mira Sorvino; and On 
the Run by Bruno De Almeida with Michael Imperioli. 

The future of independent film distribution in this 
country is one that . . . 

will increasingly employ digital technologies until cellu- 
loid (sadly) becomes a museum oddity. 

Famous last words: 

"Let people laugh at what they want to laugh at." 
— John Cassavetes 

Distributor FAQ profiles a wide range of distributors of 
independent film and video. Send profile suggestions to 
Lissa Gibbs, c/o The Independent. 304 Hudson St.. 6 fl.. 
New York, NY 10013; or drop an email to lissag@earth- 
link.net. 

Lissa Gibbs is a contributing editor to The Independent 
and former Film Arts Foundation Fest director. 



April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 47 



%iiMfiiimmmm.fl^.tty 



PACIFIC PIONEER FILM FUND 



CHELLE COE 




Pacific Pioneer Film Fund, Armin Rosencranz, Exec. 
Director; Box 20504, Stanford, CA 94309; (650) 497- 
1133; armin@stanford.edu; www.pacificpioneer- 
fund.com 

What is the Pacific Pioneer Fund? 

We're a private foundation, and our exclusive mission is 
to support "emerging" West Coast documentary film- 
and videomakers. 

How, when and why did the fund come into being? 

We began making grants in 1980. One of the fund's 
benefactors, Nancy Sloss, was herself a documentary 
filmmaker. She realized that this was a greatly under- 
supported community of dedicated and talented artists. 

The driving philosophy behind the fund is . . . 

to help younger documentarians who have shown talent 
in previous works or roles to move to the next stage in 
their careers. 

Can individuals apply for Pioneer Fund grants or 
are they limited to organizations? 

Only organizations (public charities) that support indi- 
vidual filmmakers. 

Any advice on choosing and working with a fiscal 
sponsor? 

We prefer an organization that has a review process and 
will exercise some project oversight. Independents may 
apply through organizations that offer fiscal administra- 



tion of projects. We've worked with Film Arts Foundation 
(San Francisco); Bay Area Video Coalition (San 
Francisco); International Documentary Assn. (LA.); 
911 Media Arts Center (Seattle); Northwest Film Center 
(Portland). The sponsor reviews the proposal and bud- 
get, and satisfies itself that the project is well thought 
out, has good film ideas, and is feasible within budget. 
These above organizations seem to be the most careful 
in doing the needed review. 

What percentage of the Pacific Pioneer Fund's over- 
all budget goes towards film or video projects? 

100%. 

What types of projects do you seek? 

We seem to have a preference for political and social 
docs, but also support cultural and historical ones. 

Name some of the best known titles and/or artists 
you have funded. What have been some of the (dis- 
tribution/exhibition) paths of those projects? 

Early on we funded Kristine Samuelson, Rob Epstein, 
and Terry Zwigoff among others. Several funded projects 
have gone on to receive PBS/CPB or NEH funding. 
About a third of each year's P.O.]/. films are Pioneer 
grantees, including: Rabbit in the Moon (Emiko Omori); 
Baby, It's You (Anne Makepeace); The Vanishing Line 
(Maren Monsen); No Loans Today (Lisanne Skyler). 
We've also funded Samsara (Ellen Bruno) and Las 
Madres de la Plaza de Mayo (Susana Munoz and 



Lourdes Portillo), and The Times of Harvey Milk (Rob 
Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman). 

How many media awards are given out per year? 
What is the total dollar amount awarded annually? 

About 20 grants, totalling 
$100,000. 

What is the average size of 
a grant? 

$5,000-6,000. 

What's the ratio of appli- 
cants to recipients? 

About four to one. 

What are the restrictions on 
applicants' qualifications? 

Applicants must live and 
work on the west coast (in 
California, Washington, or 
Oregon). Funds are not given 
to artists who live elsewhere. 
The sponsoring organization, 
however, can be from any 
state. Student projects are 
not eligible. 

Do you fund projects at var- 
ious stages of production? 

Any stage. 

Explain your funding cycle and deadlines. Can film- 
makers re-apply if they don't win? 

We review applications three times a year, with post- 
mark deadlines of 2/1, 5/15, and 10/1. We decide and 
notify all applicants within six weeks of these dead- 
lines. Unsuccessful applicants are asked to wait a year 
before reapplying. 

Are there time restrictions within which the funds 
must be used? Can the same individual apply for 
funds two years in a row? 

No time restrictions. We currently make only one grant 
in a filmmaker's career. 

Who makes up the staff of the Pacific Pioneer Fund? 

Peter Sloss, president; Nancy Sloss, vice president; 
Hillary Sloss, Dan Geller and Ellen Bruno, board mem- 
bers. Half of us are filmmakers. Ellen and Dan are past 
grantees whom we've had as filmmaker consultants for 
individual panels and really liked their sound judgment 
so we invited them to the Board. Terms are five years, 
renewable once; when they rotate off, we'll presumably 
look for new board members from among past 
grantees. 

As executive director, I [Armin Rosencranz] have the 
primary contact with all applicants. 

Who makes the awards decisions? 

The board itself makes all decisions. Often we have a 
past grantee join as a temporary board member to 



THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



screen applicants' submissions and make awards. 

Tell us a little about the review process. 

I review all applications, usually numbering 25 to 30, 
disqualify those that don't meet threshold qualifications 
(meaning they either have too much or too little experi- 
ence), and forward the remaining 20 or so to one of our 
board members to select the 8 to 10 that will appear on 
our next meeting's agenda. 

What advice do you have for media artists in putting 
forth a strong application? 

Say it in your own words and don't rely on outside tes- 
timonials. We tend to be turned off by slick proposals 
which are often prepared by fundraising professionals. 
We do expect proposals to be clearly written and word 
processed, and to contain a full biography of the project 
director, with full titles of past films/videos that the 
applicant has worked on, including the length of the 
work, where exhibited, and the specific role performed 
by the applicant. 

What is the most common mistake applicants 
make? 

Inflating their budgets. 

What is a difficult hurdle you've had to get over as 
a funder? 

Disqualifying people for being either "pre-emerging" or 
"emerged." Basically, if the applicant has completed 
one or two recognized projects or if she/he has per- 
formed key supporting roles (producer, editor, director of 
photography) in someone else's film, she/he qualifies 
as "emerging." 

What would people most be surprised to learn 
about the Pacific Pioneer Fund and/or its founders? 

We're very informal and approachable. 

What distinguishes the Pioneer Fund from other 
funders? 

Sad to say, we're the only California funder supporting 
emerging documentary filmmakers as artists. We're 
much more interested in helping a talented filmmaker's 
career than we are in a film's subject. 

Other foundations or grantmaking organizations 
you admire. 

Any foundations that support film and/or video. 

If not funding media, what would you be doing? 

Teaching, running, watching children grow. 

Famous last words: 

"Don't let poor Nellie starve." (Charles H's deathbed 
words about his mistress, Nell Gwynne.) 

Funder FAQ profiles a wide range of funders of indepen- 
dent film and video. Send profile suggestions to 
michelle@aivf.org. 

Michelle Coe is program & information services 
director at MW. 



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April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 49 



G^i 



rz=i 



- 



by Scott Castle 

listings do not constitute an endorsement. we 
recommend that you contact the festival 
directly before sending cassettes, as details 
may change after the magazine goes to press, 
deadline: 1st of the month two months prior 
to cover date (may. 1 for july issue). include 
festival dates, categories, prizes, entry fees, 
deadlines, formats & contact info. send to: 
festivals@aivf.org 

Domestic 

BLACK HARVEST INTERNATIONAL FILM AND VIDEO FES- 
TIVAL, Aug. 20-29, IL. Deadline: May 10. Film Center at 
the School of the Art Institute of Chicago presents 5th 
annual fest, a noncompetitive showcase for contemporary 
cinema & video from the African diaspora. Fest will feature 
films from around the world, reflecting Black cultural, 
political & social experiences. Offerings from African 
nations, the U.S., Britain, Canada, Latin America & the 
Caribbean are expected. Recent African-American film & 
video provide the core of the fest. Directors will present 
feature-length & short work in all genres & an artists panel 
will provide additional commentary & insight on the black 
exp. in film. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2", Beta SR 
Preview on VHS. No entry fee. Contact: BHIFVF, Barbara 
Scharres, Film Center director, Film Center at School of Art 
Institute of Chicago, Columbus Dr. & Jackson Blvd., Chicago, 
IL 60603; (312) 443-3734; fax: 332-5859; ecastro® 
artic.edu; www.artic.edu/saic/art/filmcentr 

BRECKENRIDGE FESTIVAL OF FILM, Sept 14-17, CO Early 
deadlines: April 28 (scripts); May 26 (films). Final dead- 
lines: May 31 (scripts); June 23 (films). 19th annual fest 
presents 4-day program of films, receptions, premieres, 
tributes, writers' seminars & film education activities, pro- 
viding unique & varied film fare shown at venues through- 
out the community. Approx. 50 ind. U.S. & int'l films are pre- 
sented from over 300 entries. Best of Fest awarded to films 
in 5 cats: drama, comedy, doc, family/children & short. Our 
4th annual screenplay competition will honor 1st place win- 
ners in adult drama, children/family, comedy & 
action/adventure cats. Scripts should meet U.S. Motion 
Picture Industry standards & be 90-130 pgs in length. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4". Preview on VHS. Entry fees: 
$35 (early); $40 (final). Contact: BFF, Terese Keil, Box 718, 
Riverwalk Center, 150 W. Adams, Breckenridge, CO 80424; 
(970) 453-6200; fax: 453-2692; filmfest@brecknet.com; 
www.brecknet.com/bff/home.html 

CALIFORNIA WORKS, Aug. 18-Sept. 4, CA. Deadline: May 26. 
Fest, the juried fine arts competition of the CA Expo & State 
Fair, seeks short films & videos under 10 min. in length. 
Awards: Cash (totaling $14,500) & non-cash prizes. Formats: 
1/2". Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $12. Contact: CW, CA State 
Fair, Box 15649, Sacramento, CA 95852; (916) 263-3146; fax: 
263-7903; entryoffice@calexpo.com; www.calexpo.com 

CRESTED BUTTE REEL FEST, August 16-20, CO. Deadline: 
May 1 (regular); June 1 (student). Competitive fest focusing 
on short films under 40 min. in cats of animation, comedy, 
drama, experimental, student & under 60 min. in doc. 
Awards: Tom Skerritt Family will present the "Gold &Silver 
Illumination Awards" of cash & a unique statue for excep- 
tional merit in educational & humanitarian filmmaking. "Bob 



Award" of $150 will be presented to the filmmaker who 
"pushes the envelope" the farthest. Gold & Silver "Best of 
Category" awards of $300 & $150 for each cat. plus winners 
aired on IFC cable channel. Audience Appreciation Award. 
Formats: 35mm, Beta, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Preview on VHS 
(NTSC only). Entry fee: $30 (regular); $20 (student w/ proof 
of status). Entry form avail, on web site. Contact: CBFF, 
Jessica Hunt, Box 1733, Crested Butte, CO 81224; (970) 349- 
2600; fax: 349-1384; cbreelfest@webcom.com; www.crest- 
edbuttereelfest.com 

HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. Oct 11-15, 
NY. Deadlines: May 13 (early); May 20 (shorts); June 30 
(final). 7th annual fest for features, shorts & docs created 
"to provide a forum for filmmakers around the world who 
express an indie vision." Fest offers diverse programming 
w/ premieres by established filmmakers, breakthrough films 
by new directors & panel discussions w/ guests from indus- 
try. Juried awards incl. Golden Starfish ($160,000 value of 
in-kind services & goods awarded in 1999). Student show- 



Festivals 

With all the festivals cropping in Utah it's no sur- 
prise that their eastern neighbor Colorado has 
more to offer than just Telluride. Since 1981, the 
4-day Breckenridge Film Festival has empha- 
sized a relaxed atmosphere where featured 
guests are readily accessible to filmgoers. 
Writers, directors, 
& producers at- 
tend for the op- 
portunity to dis- 
cuss their work 
with audiences in 
informal sessions 
following screen- 
ings, at seminars, 
receptions and at 
the outdoor Film 
Forums. Compli- 
mentary lodging & 
transportation are 
provided for invit- 
ed filmmakers and 
screenwriters dur- 
ing the event. 

A newer edition 
to the festival landscape is the Crested Butte 
Reel Fest, which exclusively screens short films, 
packing in local audiences and presenting a 
variety of unique awards for educational, hu- 
manitarian, and envelope-pushing filmmaking. 
Popular with attending filmmakers who've lend 
their experience and know-how to panels and 
workshops, the festival also has an agreement 
with the Independent Film Channel to air festival 
winners nationwide. See Listings. 




HOLLYWOOD FILM FESTIVAL, August 4-9, CA. Deadline: 
May 31. Fest seeks to bridge the gap between emerging 
filmmakers & established Hollywood. Cats: features, docs, 
shorts. Awards: up to $100,000 in postproduction services. 
Formats: 16mm, 35mm, video. Preview on VHS. Entry fee: 
$50. Contact: HFF, Carlos de Abreu, 433 N. Camden Dr., Ste. 
600, Beverly Hills, CA 90210; (310) 288-1882; fax: 475- 
0193; awards@hollywoodawards.com; www.hollywoodfes- 
tival.com 

HOPE & DREAMS FILM FESTIVAL, Oct. 6-8, NJ. Deadline: 
May 6. Film & video competition. Films judged for general 
interest, production values & creativity. Cats: feature, doc, 
short, animation. Cash awards & prizes. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, 3/4". Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $40. Contact: HDFF, 
Curator, Box 131, Hope, NJ 07844; fax: (908) 459-4681 

INDEPENDENT FEATURE FILM MARKET, Sept. 15-22, NY 
Deadline: Early deadline: May 19; final deadline, June 9. The 
IFFM is the only U.S. market devoted to new, emerging film tal- 
ent. Market is attended by over 2,500 filmmakers, distributors, 
television & home video buyers, agents, development 
executives & festival programmers from the U.S. & 
abroad. IFFM is currently accepting submissions for the 
upcoming 22nd Market in the following categories: fea- 
ture films (over 60 min.), short films (up to 40 min. & 40 
to 60 min.), works-in-progress (edited scenes, trailer, 
intended for feature-length), script (copyrighted, for fea- 
ture-length film). Separate membership & entry fees 
apply. All applicants must be current IFP 
or FAF members. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm. Preview on VHS. Entry fees: $400 
(features); $350 (wop); $300 (shorts up 
to 40 min.); $325 (40-60 min.); 
$300.(video library only); $275(scripts); 
add $50 for late deadine. Contact: IFP 
104 West 29th St., 12 fl., New York, NY 
10001; (212) 465-8200 x. 436; fax: 
465-8525; ifpny@ifp.org; www.ifp.org 



LONG ISLAND FILM FESTIVAL, May 4- 

8, June & Aug., NY. Deadlines: April 30 
(films); June 1 (screenplays). 17th 
annual competitive fest, screened over 
50 features & 60 shorts last year, 
selected from entries submitted from 
around the world. Cats: arts & enter- 
tainment, doc & education, screenplay, and student. 
Awards: 1st prizes presented in all cats (film & 
video), w/ cash awards to be announced. Entry fees: 
$25 (screenplays & films up to 15 min.); $40 (15 to 
30 mm.); $60 (30-60 min.) ; $75 (over 60 min.). 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Preview on VHS. 
Contact LIFF, Chris Cooke, Box 13243, Hauppauge, NY 
11788; (800) 762-4769; fax: (516) 853-4888; suf- 



folkfilm@yahoo.com; www.lifilm.org 



case (5 undergrad & 5 grad) receive grants of $2,500 each. 
Other prizes awarded for Best Doc Feature, Best Original 
Score, Best Short Film & Audience Favorites. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm. Preview on VHS, Beta SP & digital. Accepting 
entries beginning April 17. Entry fees: $25 (shorts); $50 
(features/docs); $35 (early). Contact: HIFF Denise Kasell, 
609 Greenwich St., Ste. A-416, New York, NY 10014; (212) 
905-1649; fax: 905-1769; hiff@hamptonsfest.org; 
www.hamptonsfest.org 



MARGARET MEAD FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL. Nov., NY 
Deadline: May 8. Premiere U.S. fest for indie/doc film & 
video. Previewing doc films & videos; no restrictions on sub- 
ject, length, or year of production. This year's special themes 
incl. Chicano/a Cinema, Space & Science. Film-/videomakers 
whose works are selected receive pass to all festival events; 
limited financial assistance & housing avail. After NY fest 
presentation, many titles packaged & tour to ind. film & com- 
munity centers, museums & universities as part of nat'l & 
int'l touring fest. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Beta 
(NTSC only). Preview on VHS. Contact: MMFVF American 



50 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 






Museum of Natural History, Dept. of Education, Central Pk. 
W. at 79th St., NY, NY 10024; (212) 769-5305; fax: 769- 
5329; meadfest@amnh.org; www.amnh.org 

MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL AND VIDEO FEST, Oct. 5-15, 
CA. Deadline: May 31 (early); June 30 (final). Invitational, 
noncompetitive fest screens American ind. films in cats: fea- 
ture, doc, animated, short, interactive, children & experimen- 
tal. Official Premieres Selection highlights feature-length 
narrative & doc premieres. Seminars bring in a stellar line-up 
of filmmakers & industry professionals. Fest has become 
premiere W. Coast event, w/ commitment to bringing new & 
innovative works to N. CA audiences. Filmmakers, distribu- 
tors, press & large local audience meet in "an atmosphere 
where professional relationships thrive." All genres encour- 
aged. Fest incl. around 100 programs of ind. features, docs, 
shorts & video works, as well as interactive exhibits, tributes, 
children's filmfest, seminars & special events. Entries must 
have been completed w/ in previous 18 mo.; industrial, pro- 
motional or instructional works not appropriate; premieres & 
new works emphasized. Annual audiences est. at 40,000. 
Awards: Audience & Jury awards for shorts. Formats: 35mm, 
16mm, Beta SP, multimedia, digital. Preview on VHS. Entry 
fees: $20 (early); $25 (final). Contact: MVFF, Mark Fishkin, 
Exec. Director/Zoe Elton, Dir. of Programming, Film Inst, of N. 
CA, 38 Miller Ave., Ste. 6, Mill Valley, CA 94941; (415) 383- 
5256; fax: 383-8606; finc@well.com; www.finc.org 

NEW JERSEY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, June & July, 
NJ. Deadline: April 14. 5th annual fest showcases the best in 
ind. film & video, featuring premiere screenings of award- 
winning works, seminars, panels discussions, and guest 
appearances. Max film age is 24 months, no repeat entries. 
Formats: 16mm, 35mm, 3/4", Beta (NTSC only). Preview on 
VHS. Entry fees: $35 (up to 20 min.) ; $45 (between 20-50 
min.); $60 (over 50 min.). Contact: NJIFF, Rutgers Film Co- 
op/NJMAC, Rutgers Univ. Program in Cinema Studies, 131 
George St., 108 Ruth Adams Bldg., Douglass Campus, New 
Brunswick, NJ 08901; (732) 932-8482; fax: 932-1935; 
njmac@aol.com; www.rci.rutgers.edu/ — nigrin 

NEXTFRAME: UFVA'S TOURING FESTIVAL OF INTERNA- 
TIONAL STUDENT FILM & VIDEO, Oct., PA. Deadlines: April 
30 (early); May 31 (final). Fest was founded in 1993 to sur- 
vey & exhibit the very best in current student film & video 
worldwide. Emphasizes independence, creativity & new 
approaches to visual media. All entries must have been cre- 
ated by students enrolled in a college, university, or graduate 
school at time of prod. & should have been completed no ear- 
lier than May of previous 2 yrs. Cats: animation, doc, exper- 
imental & narrative. All works prescreened by panel of 
film/videomakers; finalists sent to judges. Awards: over 
$15,000 in prizes; 1st & 2nd place prizes awarded in each 
cat plus a Director's Choice Prize. Fest also holds a craft 
competition, incl. prizes for film editing, cinematography, 
screenwriting & sound design. About 30 works showcased 
each year. All works previewed at annual conference of Univ. 
Film & Video Assoc. (UFVA), in Aug. at Colorado Springs, CO. 
Premiere held in Philadelphia in Oct. Year-long int'l tour of 
selected fest finalists begins after premiere. Tour travels to 
major universities & art centers across the U.S. & around the 
globe. Past int'l venues have incl. Mexico, Australia, New 
Zealand, Portugal & Japan. UFVA is an int'l org. dedicated to 
arts & sciences of film & video & development of motion pic- 
tures as medium of communication. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 
Beta, 1/2". Preview on VHS. Entry fees $25; $20 (UFVA 
members & int'l entries). Early entries save $5. Contact: 



NextFrame, Dept. Film & Media Arts, Temple Univ. 011-00, 
Philadelphia, PA 19122; 1-800-499-UFVA; fax: (215) 204- 
6740; ufva@vm.temple.edu; www.temple.edu/nextframe. 

NORTH CAROLINA GAY AND LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL, 

August 3-6, NC. Deadline: May. Competitive fest aims to 
open up audiences to wide spectrum of films by &/or about 
gay/lesbian/bisexual/ transgender lives. Fest also has pro- 
duced series of events leading up to the fest incl. series on 
early gay films ("The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly"). Fest 
accepts features, docs & shorts of any length, genre, or cat- 
egory. No restriction on film's year of completion. Cats: fea- 
ture, doc, short. Awards: TBA. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. 
Preview on VHS (NTSC, PAL, Secam). Entry fee: $15. 
Contact: NCGLFF, Lawrence Ferber, Coordinator, 573 6th St. 
#1, Brooklyn, NY 11215; (212) 414-7654; or Jim Carl, 
Carolina Theater (919) 560-3040 x. 232; fax: 560-3065; 
NCGLFF@aol.com; www.carolinatheatre.org 

RHODE ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Aug. 9- 
13, Rl. Deadline: June 1. Fest takes place in historic Provi- 
dence, Rl & has become a showcase for int'l independent 
filmmakers & their work. In 1999, fest screened 36 world 
premieres & 26 U.S. premieres. Fest accepts shorts, features 
& videos produced after 1997. Filmmakers may enter their 
films either in/out of competition. All films will be eligible for 
Fest Favorites awards. Cats: feature, doc, experimental, 
Final Draft, Kodak Vision, Positive Lifestyle, Tourisme Quebec 
Best Film, animation, & short. Awards: Fest Favorite awards. 
Formats: 16mm, 35mm, Beta SP/SX, DV, S-VHS, 1/2". 
Preview on VHS. Entry fees: $30 (shorts); $50 (features). 
Contact: RUFF, Box 162, Newport, Rl 02840; (401) 847- 
7590/861-4445; fax: 847-7590; flicksart@aol.com; 
www.film-festival.org 

SAN DIEGO ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL, August 11-13. 
Deadlines: April 15 (early); May 15 (final). 1st annual fest, 
presented by the Asian American Journalists Assoc. 
Competitive fest seeks short to feature-length narratives, 
docs, experimental, animation & mixed genre works made by 
or about Asian & Pacific Americans. Awards incl. best fea- 
ture, best short, best doc. Formats: 35mm, 16mm (no dou- 
ble system), 3/4", Beta SR Preview on VHS. Entry form avail 
from web site. Entry fee: $10 (early), $15 (final); incl. SASE 
for tape return. Contact: SDAFF, c/o TACC, 7170 Convoy Ct, 
San Diego, CA 92111; (858) 616-8525; sdaff2000@ 
hotmail.com; www.sdaff.org 

WINE COUNTRY FILM FESTIVAL, July 20-Aug. 13, CA. 
Deadline: May 15. 14th annual fest held in Napa & Sonoma 
Valleys, 60 miles north of San Francisco. A competitive & 
non-competitive int'l showcase of 100+ feature films, 
shorts, docs & animation. Awards: Best First Feature, David 
L. Wolper Best Doc Prize, Best Short & Audience Choice 
Awards. Formats: 16mm, 35mm & digital. Preview on VHS. 
Entry fee: $35. Contact: WCFF, Box 303, Glen Ellen, CA 
95442; (707) 996-2536; fax: 996-6964; wcfilmfest@ 
aol.com; www.winecountryfilmfestival.com 

WOODS HOLE FILM FESTIVAL, July 31-Aug. 7, MA 
Deadline: May 1. Fest "is a showcase for independent film 
w/ special emphasis on regional filmmakers & cinematogra- 
phy." Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 1/2", Beta. Preview on VHS. 
Entry fees: $20 (shorts); $35 (features). Contact: WHFF, Judy 
Laster, 50 Longwood Ave., Ste. 1020, Brookline, MA 02446: 
(617) 975-3361; who3@aol.com; www.woodhole.com 

YOUNG PEOPLE'S FILMFEST, Aug. 4-6, CA. Deadline: May 
1. Fest, sponsored by the Wine Co. Film Fest, seeks works 




Call for Entries 



Now accepting entries 
for the third annual 
Antimatter, a festival 
of innovative short film 
and video in Victoria, 
British Columbia, Canada 



ANTIMATTER 




Festival of 
Underground 
Short Film 
& Video 



BASIC CRITERIA 

Independent productions, 
completed after Jan 1/98. 
Any genre. Max 30 mins. 
Victoria premiere. 

FORMATS 

16mm and video. 

VHS for preview/selection. 

DEADLINES/FEES 

Early: May 5/2000 ($10) 
Final: June 2/2000 ($15) 



INFO/FORMS 

Antimatter, F-1322 Broad St, 
Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 2A9 
Tel/Fax: 250-385-3327 
rogueart@islandnet.com 
www.islandnet.com/shortcircuit 



We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Hie Canada Council for the < 
Arts and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council. < 

VICTORIA BC CANADA 



April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 51 




APRIL 22 - 30 



far application & information : 

www.wpbiff.org 

deadline: April 13, 2000 
shorts: thirty minutes or less 

222 Lakeview Ave. Suite 1 60-284 
West Palm Beach, FL 33401-6145 
Phone: 561.802.3029 



2000 






narrative 

documentary 

music video 

experimental 

& 

animation 

call for entries 



IMOKIA PRESENTS 



GEN ART 9000 

FILM FESTIVAL mt%J\0%J 

CELEBRATING THE WORK OF 
EMERGING AMERICAN FILMMAKERS 




PREMIERES 

SEVEN 

PARTIES 



APRIL 26 -MAY 2 ' 
NEW YORK CITY 




212-290-0312 

WWW.GENART.ORG 



(fta0 



Gataland 



FILMS 



pictures & sound 



ttielndependenf Kodak 

■ I FILM &VIDE0 MONTHLY 



evian 



SKYT 

VODKA 



K/A Loews 
mCineplex 



ENTERTAINMENT 



Sfte iNettf jjerk ©hues 



suitable for family viewing. Cats: feature, doc, short, anima- 
tion. Audience choice awards for best in all cats. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, DV, video. Preview on VHS. Entry fees: $25 
(shorts, animation); $35 (features, docs). Contact: YPFF, c/o 
Wine Co. FF, Box 303, Glen Ellen, CA 95442; (707) 996-2536; 
fax: 996-6964; wcfilmfest@aol.com 

Foreign 

ANTIMATTER: FESTIVAL OF UNDERGROUND SHORT FILM 
AND VIDEO. Canada, Sept. 15-24. Deadlines: May 5 (early); 
June 2 (final). 3rd annual test seeks imaginative, volatile, 
entertaining & critical works existing outside the main- 
stream, regardless of the subversive nature of their content 
or their commercial viability. Fest is dedicated to film & video 
as art: we are anti-Hollywood & anti-censorship. Selected 
works will be incl. in a 3-city int'l tour. Entries must be under 
30 min. & have been produced w/in last 2 yrs. Industrial, 
commercial, or studio products ineligible. Formats: 16mm, 
VHS. Preview on VHS. Entry fees: $10 (early); $15 (late). 
Contact: Antimatter, Todd Eacrett, Fest Din, Studio F-1322 
Broad St., Victoria, B.C., Canada, V8W-2A9; tel/fax: (250) 
385-3327; rogueart@islandnet.com: www.islandnet.com/ 
shortcircuit 

DIVERCINE: INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL FOR CHIL- 
DREN & YOUNG PEOPLE, July 3-14, Uruguay. Deadline: 
May 5. 9th annual fest presents overview of new films for 
children & adolescents, facilitates access to best & most 
diverse material created today & encourages distribution of 
new films for children. Cats: children, animation, doc, fea- 
ture, short. Awards incl. prizes for best fiction, animation, 
doc; Gun Prize for best of fest, UNICEF Prize, to best film/video 
promoting the rights of a child, UNESCO prize to director of 
best Latin American or Caribbean film or video, OCIC Prize, 
best film/video enhancing human values, and Children's Jury 
Award. Entries cannot have been shown in Uruguay & must 
incl. complete tech info, five-line synopsis of work, dialogue 
script in English or Portuguese & VHS copy of film. Formats: 
35mm, 16mm, 3/4", 1/2". Preview on VHS. No entry fee. 
Contact: IFFCYR Ricardo Casas, Cinemateca Uruguaya, 
Lorenzo Carnelli 1311, 11200 Montevideo, Uruguay; Oil 
598 2 4095795; fax: 598 2 409 4572; cinemuy® 
chasque.apc.org; www.cinemateca.org.uy 

CARROUSEL INTERNATIONAL DU FILM DE RIMOUSKI 

Sept. 17-24, Canada. Deadline: May 26. 18th annual fest 
aims to promote cinema for young people through animation, 
introductory & learning activities, film screenings & 
exchanges among the various int'l players in the film indus- 
try. Films must not have commercial distribution in Canada 
& not screened at any other Quebec festival. Films must be 
dubbed in French or in its original version w/out subtitles & 
accompanied by the written texts of dialogue & narration in 
French or English. Cats: long & short (competition), long & 
short (information), retro &/or tribute. Awards: Best long 
film, short film, actor, actress, screenplay. Humanitas award 
& public award. Jury members are 14-17 yrs old & from var- 
ious countries. Formats: 16mm, 35mm. 3/4". Preview on 
VHS. No entry fee. Contact: IFR. 92. 2e Rue Ouest C.R 1462, 
Rimouski, Quebec, Canada G5L 8M3 (418) 722-0103; fa* 
724-9504; cifr@carrousel.qc.ca; www.carrousel.qc.ca 

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Aug 13-27. 
Scotland. Deadline: April 21. "Fest of discovery, celebration 
of cinema, center of debate & catalyst for new directors & 
first films." Began in 1947 as a doc film fest & is particular- 



52 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 






ly interested in nonaction; also premieres. Showcases 
approx. 110 features & 120 shorts each yr. Awards incl. 
Standard Life Audience Award, Channel 4 Director's Award, 
Observer Doc Award & Pathe Performance Award. Formats: 
70mm, 35mm, 16mm, Beta SR Preview on VHS. Entry fees: 
£10-£80 ($15-$130). Contact: EIFF, Lizze Francke, Dir- 
ector, Filmhouse, 88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9BX, 
Scotland; 01 1 44 31 228-4051; fax: 44 31 229-5501; info@ 
edfilmfest.org.uk; www.edfilmfest.org.uk 

FANTASY FILMFEST, July 26-Aug. 23, Germany. Deadline: May 
22. Noncompetitive test is held in six German cities (Frankfurt, 
Cologne, Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart, Hamburg) & accepts 35mm 
short & feature films in the following cats: science fiction, hor- 
ror, thriller & killer, animation, fantasy & action adventure. 
Formats: 35mm. Preview on VHS (PAL or NTSC), incl. press kit 
w/tape. No entry fee; ($25 tape return). Contact: FFF, Rosebud 
Entertainment, Fregestr. 36, 12161 Berlin, Germany; Oil 49 
30 861 45 32; fax: 49 30 861 45 39; rosebudentertain- 
ment@t-online.de; www.fantasyfilmfest.com 

FRAPNA FILM FESTIVAL ON NATURE AND THE ENVIRON- 
MENT, Nov. 7-12, France. Deadline: May 31. Fest features 
works "that deal with nature, the environment & ecology." 
Entries must have been completed after 1/1/98. Awards: 
Cash prizes Format: Beta. Preview on VHS. No entry fee. 
Contact: FRAPNA, Isere, Nadege Eymery or Pierre Sauget - 
MNEI-5 Place Bir-Hakeim, 38000 Grenoble, France; Oil 33 
476 42 64 08; fax: 33 476 44 63 36; frapna.dir® 
dial.oleane.com; www.frapna.org/isere 

GALWAY FILM FLEADH, July 11-16, Ireland. Deadline: May 5. 
12th annual fest is int 'My recognized & is the foremost event 
for presenting new Irish films alongside cutting edge int'l cin- 
ema. Last year over 30 Irish & int'l filmmakers were present 
w/ their films with numerous int'l critics in attendance. 
Awards: Best Irish short, best first short, best doc, best ani- 
mation (all must be directed by Irish filmmakers); best direc- 
tor of first feature, best feature doc (open to all). Entry fee: 
$10. Formats: 35mm, 16mm, Beta SR VHS. Preview on VHS. 
Contact: GFF, Cluain Mhuire, Monivea Rd., Galway, Ireland; 
Oil 353 91 751655; fax: 353 91 770746; gafleadh@iol.ie ; 
www.ireland.iol.ie/~galfilm/fleadh 

GUERNSEY LILY INTERNATIONAL AMATEUR FILM AND 
VIDEO FESTIVAL, Sept. 22-24, United Kingdom. Deadline: 
May 31. Fest seeks amateur film & videos "made for love, 
with no financial reward & without professional assistance 
other than processing, copying, or sound transfer." Works 
must be 30 min. or less & have been completed since May 
'98. Awards: Cash & non-cash prizes. Formats: DV, Mini-DV, 
super 8, 8mm, 16mm, S-VHS, 1/2". Preview on VHS. Entry 
fee: £7 (approx. $10). Contact: GLIAFV, Joan M. Ozanne, La 
Geniesse, Forest, Guernsey, Channel Islands, United 
Kingdom GY8 OAQ; Oil 44 1481 38147; fax: 44 1481 35989; 
landjoz@guernsey.net 

MENIGOUTE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ORNITHOLOGI- 
CAL FILMS, Oct. 28-Nov. 2, France. Deadline: May 15. 6-day 
fest, founded in '85, shows about 40 films concerning ornitho- 
logical subjects, as well as all wildlife (wild mammals, rep- 
tiles or swimming creatures). Assocs & orgs concerned w/ 
environmental issues invited to present activities in various 
forums. Regional tours organized each day specifically in bird 
watching areas. 15-20 artists present photographs, paintings 
& sculpture. Entries must be French premieres. Cats: Wildlife/ 
environmental. Awards: cash prizes from 10.000FF ($1,486) 
to 30.000FF ($4,458). Formats: 16mm, 1/2", Beta SR Preview 



on VHS. No entry fee. Contact: IFOF, Marie Christine Brouard, 
residence la Fontaine, BP 5, 79340 Menigoute, France; Oil 
33 5 49 69 90 09; fax: 33 5 49 69 97 25; mainate® 
menigoute-festival.org; www.menigoute-festival.org 

MILAN FILM FESTIVAL, Sept. 11-17, Italy. Deadline: April 17. 
5th annual competitive fest incl. workshops, meetings, con- 
certs, tributes & parties. Past tests have incl. works from over 
600 directors & 50 countries. Cats: features & shorts. Awards: 
Feature (5 million lira, $2,517); Short & Apnle Awards (3 mil- 
lion lira each, $1,510). Works of any genre or length accepted 
(over 45 min. for features). Incl. info on work & creators. 
Formats: 35mm, 16mm, 8mm, digital, Betacam, VHS. Preview 
on VHS (PAL only). No entry fee. Contact: MFF, c/o 
Associazione Aprile, Via Carroccio 12, 1-20123, Milan, Italy-, 
tel/fax: Oil 39 0289 421 256; info@milanofilmfestival.it; 
wwwmilanofilmfestival.it 

MONTREAL INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF NEW CINEMA 
AND NEW MEDIA, Oct. 12-22, Canada. Deadline: May 15. 
29th annual fest seeks innovative works that explore new 
ideas & new technologies. Works must have been produced 
after Jan. 1, 1999. All works should be in their original lan- 
guage, preferably w/ English or French subtitles. Cats: fea- 
ture, short & medium-length film & video, and new media. 
Awards: best feature, best short/medium, best new media, 
best Canadian work, Public Choice Award. Formats: All for- 
mats accepted. Preview on VHS. Entry fees: $20 (U.S.); $25 
(Cdn). Contact: FCMM, 3530 Boul. St-Laurent, Montreal, 
Quebec Canada H2X 2V1; (514) 847-9272; fax: 847-0732; 
montrealfest@fcmm.com; www.fcmm.com 

MOVING PICTURES FESTIVAL OF DANCE ON FILM AND 
VIDEO, Oct., Canada. Deadline: May 30. Fest seeks "innov- 
ative work that goes beyond a simple document of choreog- 
raphy, that demonstrates the kinetic possibilities of move- 
ment recorded for the screen." Rough cuts will be consid- 
ered. All styles & genres accepted. Awards: Prizes in the 
choreography & doc cats. Formats: 16mm, 35mm, Beta SR 
Preview on VHS. Entry fee: $25 (U.S.); $20 (Cdn). Contact: 
MPFDFV, 235 College St., #102, Toronto, Ontario Canada 
M5T 1R5; (416) 961-5424; fax: 961-5624; movingpix® 
total.net; www.total.net/~movingpix 

MUNICH FILM FESTIVAL, June 24-July 1, Germany. Deadline: 
May 1. Fest is open to all genres w/ awards for best int'l first 
feature film, Best TV movie, One Future Prize, w/ special 
awards for German filmmakers. Formats: 35mm, 16mm. 
Preview on VHS. No entry fee. Contact: MFF, Eberhard Hauff, 
Director, Kaiserstr. 39, D-80801 Miinchen, Germany; Oil 49 
89 38 19040; fax: 49 89 38 190426; festivalleitung@ 
filmfest-muenchen.de; www.filmfest-muenchen.de 

SARAJEVO FILM FESTIVAL, Aug. 18-26, Bosnia and Herze- 
govina. Deadline: June 1. Fest was established by Obala Art 
Center in 1995 & features approx. 100 shorts and features in 
4 cats: Competition, Balkan-Eastern European, Panorama, 
and a Hollywood section. Awards in first 2 cats. Fest also 
offers sidebar programs including workshops, lectures and 
exhibitions. Recognized by FIAPF. Fest invites directors of 
selected films to attend and hosts 100-125 international 
guests (producers, filmmakers and actors, film profession- 
als, journalists). Formats: 16mm & 35mm (optical sound- 
track only). Preview on VHS. No entry fee. Contact: SFF, H. 
Kresevljakovica 13, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and 
Herzegovina; Oil 387 71 665-532, 668-186; fax: 387 71 
664-547; sff@sff.ba; www.sff.ba 



CS ASSOCIATES 

22 Weston Road 

Lincoln, MA 01773 

tel: (781) 259-9988 

fax: (781) 259-9966 





rwmm 

DISTRIBUTION 

PRE-SALES 

CO-PRODUCTION 



Distributing outstanding 
documentaries, restored 
classic films, children's 
and instructional 
programs for worldwide 
broadcast since 1980. 





Send VHS submissions to Lisa Carey, 
Director of Acquisitions 



NON LINEAR 
EDITING 




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REAL TIME TRANSITIONS 



BROADCAST ONLINE 
3:1 TO 200:1 OFFLINE 



MULTI-LAYERING 



BETACAM SP EDITING 
HI 8 & 3/4SP — 3/4 AB 

ANIMATION & GRAPHICS 

DUPLICATION 

TRANSFERS from HI8 to BETA 



Phone (212) 219-9240 
Fax (212) 966-5618 



April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 53 






notices of relevance to aivf members are list- 
ed free of charge as space permits. the 
independent reserves the right to edit for 
length and makes no guarantees about repeti- 
tions of a given notice. limit submissions to 60 
words & indicate how long info will be cur- 
rent, deadline: 1st of the month, two months 
prior to cover date (e.g., may. 1 for july issue), 
complete contact info (name, address & phone) 
must accompany all notices. send to: 
independent notices, fivf, 304 hudson st., 6th 
fl, ny, ny 10013. we try to be as current as pos- 
sible, but double-check before submitting 
tapes or applications. 

Competitions 

16th annual ida distinguished documentary 

ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS COMPETITION Cats: feature, short, 
David A. Wolper student doc, limited series, strand program, 
TV, magazine segment; awards: ABC News Videosource 
award & Pare Lorentz award. Winners honored at 16th 
Annual Awards Gala on Oct. 27 & screened at DocFest Oct. 
28. Early bird deadline w/ discount: April 15; final deadline 
May 15 For entry forms: (310) 284- 8422 x. 68; ida@art- 
net.net; www.documentary.org 

AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL HEART OF FILM SCREENPLAY 
COMPETITION Call for entries. Three cats: feature length 
adult/mature themes, feature length children/family, feature 
length comedy. Awards: cash prizes, air fare (up to $500), 
hotel accomm. (up to $500), VIP pass to Heart of Film 
Screenwriters Conference (Oct. 12-19), Heart of Film 
Bronzed Award. Entry fee: $40. Deadline: May 15. For more 
info: (800) 310-FEST austinfilm@aol.com; www.austinfilm- 
festival.org 

HOLLYWOOD'S SYNOPSIS WRITING CONTEST: Est. to give 
you experience, feedback, direction on your current synopsis 
writing. You may enter a one-page synopsis of a screenplay 
you already have written, or a screenplay you intend to write. 
Judges evaluate synopses on originality, marketability & clev- 
erness. Each contestant receives personalized commentary 
on merits of each synopsis entered. Winner receives free copy 
of Final Draft, valued at $299, plus a free Script Detail of the 
screenplay of your choice valued at $150. Deadline: last day 
of every month. Only online entries accepted; info@ 
thesource.com. au; www.thesource.com.au/hollywood/entry- 
form html 

IFC2000, the national student film competition presented by 
the IFP & the IFC prizes to student films w/ $10, 000 Grand 
Prize awarded to the best film from any category. Grand prize 
also receives a matching product grant from Eastman Kodak. 
Open to students currently enrolled in a film degree program 
at an accredited graduate or undergraduate American school. 
Eligible: 16mm, 35mm films, and videos under 30 min., pro- 
duced since May '99. Finalists & winners will be screened at 
the 22nd Independent Feature Film Market, September, 
2000; and winning films are also screened in Los Angeles & 
on the Independent Film Channel. Deadline; May 12, 2000. 
For an application, contact: IFP, 104 W. 29th St., 12th FL, 
N.Y, NY 10001-5310; (212) 465-8200 ext. 108; 465-8525; 
marketinfo@ifp.org; www.ifp.org 

MONTEREY COUNTY FILM COMMISSION SCREENWRITING 
CONTEST. Open to writers who have not yet sold scripts to 



Hollywood. All genres & locations accepted. First prize; 
$1,000. Early entry fee; $40. Early deadline fee: $50. 
Deadline Jan. 31, 2001. Rules & entry forms on web site or 
send SASE to: MCFC, Box 111, Monterey, CA 93942; (831) 
646-0910; mryfilm@aol.com; www.filmmonterey.org 

NTV-FILM SCREENPLAY CONTEST for feature length scripts. 
All genres accepted. Winning script will be purchased for pro- 
duction by NTV (you must have rights). Send script w/ $40 
entry fee payable to NTV, 21 Central Park West, Ste. IT, NY, 
NY 10023. 

OHIO INDEPENDENT SCREENPLAY AWARDS: Call for entries 
for Best Screenplay Award & Best Northcoast Screenplay 
Awards. All genres accepted. Prizes incl. $1,000, screenplay 
reading at the Ohio Independent Film Festival in Nov., sub- 
mission to LA literary agent, screenwriting software & indus- 
try script analysis. Early entry fee (postmarked by May 15): 
$40 per screenplay; late entry fee (postmarked by June 1); 
$60 per screenplay. Contact: OIFF, 1121 Clark Avenue, 
Cleveland, OH 44109; (216) 781-1755; OhiolndieFilmFest 
@juno.com; www.ohiofest.com 

SCRIPTAPALOOZA is a company that not only champions the 
talented writer, but takes that writer beyond just prize money. 
Creates golden opportunities for winning writers to possibly 
be discovered, get representation, have their script optioned, 
or to outright sell it. Final deadline (April 15 postmark): $45. 
For rules, guidelines & appl.: www.scriptapalooza.com; 
Scnptapalooza, 7775 Sunset Blvd., PMB # 200, Hollywood, 
CA 90046. 

Conferences and Workshops 

MAESTRO: Workshops for independent media artists and 
organizations will be presented during May in Los Angeles, 
New Orleans, and Buffalo. See page 68 in this issue. 

"TUCSON 2000," The Alliance for Community Media's 2000 
Int'l Conference & Trade Show, July 12-15. Westin La Paloma 
Resort in Tucson, AZ. For more info, contact ACM, 666 11th 
St., NW, Ste. 740, Washington, DC, 20001; (202) 393-2650 

Films and Tapes Wanted 

2000 GAIT FESTIVAL will exhibit independently produced 
pilots in Drama, Comedy, Reality Based Program, 
Animation, Children's Programming, & News/ Doc. It will 
take place at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 
Los Angeles September 5-8, 2000. (This is the week prior to 
the Emmy Awards.) Submission fees; $100. Deadline is 
May 15. www.tv-pilot.com is designed to allow independent 
TV producers post info about & streaming video clips of 
their pilots for programming buyers, agents, manager & 
advertisers. Users of the site will be able to search differ- 
ent criteria, conduct a query, view the results & order a full 
copy of the pilot production directly from the independent 
producer, www.tv-pilot.com 

ALWAYS INDEPENDENT FILMS shows independent feature 
films, short films, docs & animation. In addition, AIF features 
original made-for-lnternet content as well as online film fes- 
tivals. www.alwaysif.com 

ANOMALOUS VIDEO THEATER seeks works of 60 mm. or 
less for unorthodox local access TV showcase in exper.. 
abstract & doc cats. Those featuring unusual or unique 
points of view especially encouraged. Formats: VHS & S-VHS 
only. Must have originated on some video format. Submission 



implies consent to broadcast. Send sufficient SASE for 
return. Deadline: on-going. Contact: Anomalous Video 
Theater, 1335 Huron River Dr. #19, Ypsilanti, Ml 48197; 
anomalousvideo@hotmail.com 

ART IN GENERAL seeks short works for 2000 video series. 
All genres considered. Submit VHS only, resume, brief state- 
ment & SASE for return of materials to; Future Programs, 
Video Series, Art in General, 79 Walker St., NY, NY 10013; 
(212)219-0473. 

ATOMFILMS is innovative, short film distribution & market- 
ing company seeking high-quality live action, animation & 
digital short films for broadcast & cable television, home 
video, DVD, Internet, hospitality, theatrical & educational 
markets. We are looking for films in any genre w/ a length of 
30 min. or less. Films must have all clearance & rights for 
commercial distrib. in order to be considered. Send submis- 
sions on VHS, NTSC, PAL or SECAM to AtomFilms, Attn: 
Acquisitions, 815 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104; 
(206) 264-2735; info@atomfilms.com; www.atomfilms.com; 
Tapes not returned. 

AXLEGREASE, Buffalo, NY cable access program of ind. film & 
video, accepting all genres under 28 min., 1/2", 3/4", 8mm, 
Hi8. Send labeled w/ name, address, title, length, additional 
info & SASE for tape return to: Squeaky Wheel, 175 Elmwood 
Ave., Buffalo, NY 14201; (716) 884-7172; squeaky® pce.net 

BIGSTAR.COM: call for submissions from independent film- 
makers for NY-based BigStar Broadband Film Festival, seek- 
ing to showcase the best features, shorts & animation. Fest 
will run all year on BigStar starting later this spring. As a par- 
ticipant in fest, visitors to BigStar will be able to view your 
film — in its full length — streamed over their internet con- 
nection using BigStar's Broadband Theater player. Films 
viewable in their entirety 24 hrs a day, seven days a week. 
No entry fee. To submit a title, contact: independent- 
films@bigstar.com for a submission form & fest agreement. 

BIJOU MATINEE is showcase for indep. shorts. Program 
appears weekly on Channel 35 leased access Manhattan 
Cable South (below 86th St.) every Sat. at 2:30 p.m. 
Submissions are welcome & should be 25 min. or less. VHS, 
3/4", or DV. Send copies to Bijou Matinee. Box 649, NY NY 
10159; (212) 505-3649; www.BijouMatinee.com 

THE BIT SCREEN premieres original short films, videos & 
multimedia works made specifically for Internet. Looking for 
original films scaled in both plot line & screen ratio for 
Internet; films that challenge assumptions of bandwidth lim- 
itations. Want to define the look of a new medium? For sub- 
mission guidelines check out: www.TheBitScreen.com 

BLACKCHAIR PRODUCTIONS accepting short video, film & 
digital submissions of 30 min. or less on an ongoing basis 
for their monthly screening program called "Independent 
Exposure." 2000 is 5th year of program. Artists paid hono- 
rarium & will qualify for nonexclusive distribution deal, 
which will incl. license fees for int'l offline & online sales. 
Looking for short, experimental, narrative, alternative, avant- 
garde, humorous, dramatic, erotic, subversive, animation, 
underground works. Works selected will, in most cases, con- 
tinue on to nat'l & int'l venues for additional screenings & 
may qualify for Blackchair's DVD/VHS home video compila- 
tions as well as netcasting via microcinema.com website. 
Submit VHS/or S-VHS (NTSC preferred) clearly labeled w/ 
name, title, length, phone no. along w/ any support materi- 
als, incl. photos. Blackchair Productions. 2318 2nd Ave., 



54 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



(^j^.ag) 



PMP #313-A, Seattle, WA, 98121; (206) 568-6051; 
info@microcinema.com; www.microcinema.com; Unable to 
return submissions. 

BROOKLYN ARTS EXCHANGE (formerly Gowanus Arts 
Exchange) accepting submissions of short 16mm films & 
videos (up to 30 min.) by NYC artists for Independent Film & 
Video Series. Any genre/subject matter. Deadline: ongoing. 
Send tapes & SASE to: The Ind. Film & Video Series, Brooklyn 
Arts Exchange, 421 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215; 
Info/details: (718) 832-0018. 

CIN(E)-POETRY FESTIVAL accepting short poetry or literary 
films, videos, docs & multimedia pieces for catalog & upcom- 
ing poetry video film festival. Request entry form: Cin(E)- 
Poetry, 934 Brannan St., 2 fl., San Francisco, CA 94103; 
(415) 552-9261; fax: 552-9261; poetry@nationalpoetry.org 

CITY ZOOMS— SHORTS (any format/genre; max 10 min.) by 
17-29 yr old filmmakers on LA wanted for Hanover film fes- 
tival on megacities. Deadline: April 12. Entry fee: $10; fax: 
(520) 223-7061; CityZoomsLA@hotmail.com 



ilot 

The 2000 GAIT (Global Association of 
Independent Television) Festival is the 
first fest solely dedicated to independently 
produced TV pilots. 
Part of Brian Nash (1) 
& Joe Weber's (r) 
GAIT initiative, the 
fest's two-tiered ap- 
proach helps both buy- 
ers & sellers. Cable 
TV and the Internet 
has opened up numer- 
ous venues that need 
& want more adven- 
turous fare. GAIT 
plans to help these 
outlets find what they 
are looking for at a 
one-stop shopping 
web site: www.TV- 
Pilot.com. The site 
lists programs by 
genre, subgenre, running time, place of pro- 
duction & target audience, along with any 
other info the filmmakers deem vital. Clips 
can be sampled 24/7 online between the 
usual circuit of conferences, festivals &. 
trade shows. See Listin" 



D.FILM Digital Film Festival [www.dfilm.coml is a traveling & 
online showcase of shorts made w/ computers & other new 
& radical technologies. D.FILM was official digital film pro- 
gram at 1999 Cannes Film Festival. Look for it in your city & 
visit web site to make your own movie online w/ the Movie 
Maker Game. 

DOBOY'S DOZENS: Monthly showcase w/ up to 350 industry 
attendees seeks short films for highlighting works by up & 
coming filmmakers. Contact: Eugene Williams, Doboy's 



Dozens, 1525 N. Cahuonga Blvd. #39, Hollywood, CA 
90028; (323) 293-6544; doboydozen@aol.com 

DUTV-CABLE 54, a progressive, nonprofit access channel in 
Philadelphia, seeks works by indie producers. All genres & 
lengths considered. No payment. Will return tapes. VHS, S- 
VHS & 3/4" accepted. Contact: George McCollough, DUTV- 
Cable 54, 3141 Chestnut St., Bldg 9B, Rm 4026, Philadelphia, 
PA 19104; (215) 895-2927; www.libertynet.org/dutv 

FILMFILM.COM: the Internet's complete movie studio 
[www.filmfilm.com] seeks submissions on on-going basis for 
its Internet 24/7 screening room. Are you ready for a world- 
wide audience? Seeking shorts & features of all genres. 
Contact: info@filmfilm.com 

FINISHING PICTURES is accepting shorts, feature works-in- 
progress & Web films seeking distribution or exposure to finan- 
cial resources for CLIPS, a quarterly showcase presented to 
invited audience of industry professionals. All productions 
should be digital. Deadline: on-going. Contact: Tommaso 
Fiacchino, (212) 971-5846; www.finishingpictures.com 

FLOATING IMAGE seeks film/video animation & shorts for 
public/commercial TV program. Send VHS or S-VHS to 
Floating Image Productions, Box 7017, Santa Monica, CA 
90406 (incl. SASE for return). (310) 313-6935. 

ITALIAN-AMERICAN SHORT FILM FESTIVAL: Festival for 
films promoting non-stereotypical images of the Italian- 
American experience & work of Italian-American writers, 
directors, & actors. Noncompetitive 
fest will choose two hrs of films for it's 
2000 program, there will be five New 
York screenings of the program in late 
spring/early summer 2000, followed by 
a nat'l tour in the fall. All formats under 
45 min. doc or narrative. Preview on 
VHS only. Deadline: April 30. 

KINOFIST IMAGEWORKS seeks work 
w/ relevance to alternative youth cul- 
ture for screening & distribution w/in 
underground community. DIY, experi- 
mental & activist work encouraged. 
Send VHS to: Kinofist Imageworks, Box 
1102, Columbia, MO 65205; 
kinofist@hotmail.com 

KQED-TV, public television serving San 
Francisco/Oakland/ San Jose, is looking 
for independent docs & dramas 6-30 min. in length for 
broadcast acquisition. Contact: Scott Dwyer, sdwyer@ 
kqed.org; (415) 553-2218 

LOUISIANA VIDEO SHORTS FESTIVAL: June 11, LA. Early 
Deadline: April 9. Late deadline: April 23. Fest is open to all 
Louisiana residents. Entries can be just about anything your 
heart desires — experimental, animation, music video, 
drama, doc, psa, etc. Entries must be 9 mm. or less pro- 
duced in any film, video or computer animation format but 
must be submitted on BetaSP, 3/4", S-VHS, VHS or Hi8/8mm 
videotape. There is also a youth category for high school age 
entrants between the ages of 13-18. NOVAC, 4840 Banks 
St., New Orleans, LA 70119; (504) 486-9192; fax: 486- 
9229; novac@neosoft.com; NOVACVideo@aol.com; 
www.gnofn.org/~novac 

MAKOR continues its on-going series showcasing emerging 
Jewish filmmakers' work. Now accepting shorts, features. 




DeWITT STERN GROUP, Inc. 

CELEBRATING 
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420 Lexington Ave. New York, NY 
Tel: 212-867-3550 Fax: 212-949-4435 




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Senior Vice President 

212-297-1468 

Jennifer Brown 

Assistant Vice President 

212-297-1445 



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April V,Y THE INDEPENDENT 55 



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docs &/or works-in-progress on any theme for screening 
consideration & network building. MAKOR's film program is 
sponsored by Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons 
Foundation. Contact: Ken Sherman: (212) 601-1021; 
ken.sherman@makor.org 

MOVIES BY MOONLIGHT; 1st Annual Outdoor Fim Program 

will take place in Queens, NY in June 2000. Seeking 
films/videos 15 min. or less. Deadline: May 15. Send VHS 
tape, info sheet (& SASE for return) to: Rockaway Artists' 
Alliance, 260 Beach 116th St., Rockaway Park, NY 11694. 

NETBR0ADCASTER.COM seeks films & videos for streaming 
on the net. Expose your feature or short to int'l audience. 
Seeking all genres & formats from drama, horror, comedy, 
animation, docs, experimental, music videos, as well as real- 
ity-based videos. We want it all! Netbroadcaster.com 
launched last fall. Site hosted by Alchemy Communications, 
one of largest ISPs on the net: films@alchemy.net 

NEW VENUE [www.newvenue.com] showcases movies made 
specifically for Internet & offers filmmakers a guide to opti- 
mizing video for web. Submit a digital flick for Y2K season 
now: QuickTime or Flash, 5MB or less (15 min. or less for 
streaming). 

OCULARIS seeks submissions from indie filmmakers for our 
continuing series. Works under 15 min. long will be consid- 
ered for Sunday night screenings where they precede that 
evening's feature film, together w/ brief Q & A w/ audience. 
Works longer than 15 min. will be considered for regular 
group shows of indie filmmakers. Only show works on 16mm 
w/ optical track. Send films, together w/ completed entry 
form (download from web site) to: Short Film Curator. 
Ocularis, Galapagos Art & Performance Space, 70 N. 6th St., 
Brooklyn, NY 11211; tel/fax: (718) 388-8713; ocularis® 
billburg.com; www.billburg.com/ocularis 

P.O. V., PBS's award-winning showcase of independent, 
non-fiction film, seeks submissions for its next season. All 
styles & lengths of indep. nonfiction films welcome. 
Unfinished work at fine-cut stage may be eligible for com- 
pletion funds. Deadline: July 31; (212) 989-2041 x. 318; 
www.pbs.org/pov 

PERIPHERAL PRODUCE is a roving, spontaneous screening 
series & distributor of experimental video. Based in Portland, 
OR & a project of Rodeo Film Company, Peripheral Produce 
seeks to promote experimental, abstract & media-subversive 
work. Formats: 16mm, VHS, super 8. Entry fee: $5. Deadline: 
on-going. Contact: Peripheral Produce, c/o Rodeo Film Co., 
Box 40835, Portland, OR 97240; perph@jps.net; 
www.jps.net/perph 

POTHOLE PICTURES, a revitalized 450 seat movie house in 
Shelburne Falls, MA seeks 35mm films for our "Meet the 
Director" series — a showing of your film followed by discus- 
sion & reception. Any length or genre. Connection to New 
England whether thru subject matter, filming locations, or 
hometown of filmmakers helpful but not necessary. Send VHS 
preview tape to Fred DeVecca, Pothole Pictures, Box 368, 
Shelburne Falls, MA 01370; frogprod@javanet.com 

PUBLIC ACCESS INTERNET TV wants your home TV shows & 
movies. 5-30+ min. If you have one show great, if you can 
do it weekly, even better! Aiming for more of an adult view- 
ing crowd — basically anything goes as long as it's legal. 
Open your mind & see what falls out. Also Flash animations/ 
movies/cartoons/3D rendered short films. pbtv2@ 
yahoo.com; http://members.xoom.com/pbtv2/ 



PUT MONEY IN YOUR SHORTS: Centerseat.com Film 
Festival is now licensing short films for broadcast on its 
entertainment & info megasite. Your film can be the core of 
an immersion interactive experience. No cost to you EVER! 
Earn royalties instead. To submit your film for our premiere 
season, log on to www.centerseat.com/indie/submit 

SHORT TV is the only cable network entirely dedicated to 
short films, produced & directed by today's emerging inde- 
pendent filmmakers. Short TV broadcasts in New York City, 
Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia & Detroit to 
around 2 million households. To submit your film, visit 
www.shorttv.com. For more info, call: (212) 226-6258. 

SONO ARTS CELEBRATION 2000, annual summer arts festi- 
val in Norwalk, CT looking for short video/film for outdoor 
screening. Early August. Humor, animation, etc. Send VHS: 
Film Coordinator, Sono Arts, Box 600, Norwalk, CT; Lisa (203) 
226-8313. 

SOUTHWEST ALTERNATIVE MEDIA PROJECT (SWAMP) is 

looking for possible inclusion in the 25th season of The 
Territory, the longest-running PBS showcase of independent 
film/video in the country. Recent works under 30 min. in all 
genres that are avail, for non-exclusive, statewide (Texas) 
broadcast btwn. Oct. 2000-Sept. 2001. Send VHS/NTSC copy 
of work, brief synopsis & filmmaker bio to: SWAMP, 1519 W. 
Main, Houston, TX., 77006; (713) 522-8592; swamp® 
swamp.org; www.swamp.org 

TAG-TV.COM is accepting short films, videos & animation to 
air on the Internet. Check out www.tag-tv.com for more info 

UNDERGR0UNDFILM.COM is an online film community & 
entertainment destination that celebrates the moving 
image & independent spirit of the Internet. Website is a 
well trafficked online exhibition space & offers filmmakers 
ability to both show & sell their work via their own Internet 
"storefront". Currently seeking film & screenplay submis- 
sions to showcase online. QuickTime player required. For 
info: (212) 206-1995; adrien@undergroundfilm.com; 
www.undergroundfilm.com 

UNQUOTE TV: Weekly nonprofit program dedicated to expos- 
ing innovative work of all genres. Produced at DUTV-Cable 54 
& cablecast nationally, Unquote Television is now in its 10th 
year. Send to: Unquote TV c/o DUTV, 3141 Chestnut St. 
9B/4026, Philadelphia, PA 19104, (215) 895-2927; 
dutv@drexel.edu; www.libertynet.org/dutv 

VIDEO LOUNGE seeks short animation, experimental, or doc 
videos for on-going screening series. No narrative or works 
made on film. Currently searching for int'l videos for upcom- 
ing series in the spring. Send non-returnable VHS tape w/ 
brief bio & $1 to: Video Lounge, Box 1220, NY NY 10013; 
info@videolounge.org; www.videolounge.org 

WORLD OF INSANITY looking for videos & films to air on 
local cable access channel, particularly anything odd. 
bizarre, funny, cool. Any length. One hr weekly show w/ 
videos followed by info on makers. Send VHS/S-VHS to: World 
of Insanity, Box 954, Veneta, OR 97487; (541) 935-5538. 

ZOOM: During 70s, ZOOM was a kids'-only series on PBS. 
featuring kids' plays, films, games & more. ZOOM is back & 
seeking films, animation & videos made by kids (some 
adult supervision okay). Every kid who sends something will 
receive free newsletter filled w/ fun activities & may see 
their film on TV. Length: up to 3 mm. Format: 3/4", VHS, Hi8. 
super 8, 16mm. Beta. Age: 7-16. Subjects should be age 



56 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



D 



appropriate. Contact: Marcy Gardner, WGBH/ZOOM, 125 
Western Ave., Boston, MA 02134, (617) 300-3883; 
marcy_gardner@wgbh.org 

Publications 

7th international film financing conference (iff- 

CON 2000) transcripts avail. IFFCON is North America's pre- 
miere financing event for independent film. Topics discussed 
by int'l financiers, commissioning editors & producers incl. 
"Pitch Perfect: How to Sell Your Idea" & "Financing w/ Int'l 
TV." Send $46 to IFFCON; 360 Ritch St., San Francisco, CA 
94107; (415) 281-9777; www.iffcon.com 

ART ON FILM DATABASE offers free listings. Have you pro- 
duced films, videos, or CD-ROMs on art or architecture? Send 
info for inclusion in database of over 25,000 prods on visual 
arts topics. Prods about artists of color & multicultural arts 
projects are welcomed. Send info to: Program for Art on Film, 
Inc., c/o Pratt SILS, 200 Willoughby Ave., Brooklyn, NY 
11205; (718) 399-4506; fax: 399-4507; artfilm® 
sils.pratt.edu; www.artfilm.org 

DATABASE & DIRECTORY OF LATIN AMERICAN FILM & 
VIDEO organized by Int'l Media Resources Exchange seeks 
works by Latin American & U.S. Latino ind. producers. To 
send work or for info"; Karen Ranucci, LAVA, 124 Washington 
PL, NY, NY 10014; (212) 463-0108. 

FILM & VIDEO seeking written reviews of University Film & 
Video Association member films for possible inclusion in 
journal — send approx. 5 double-spaced pages to: lerick- 
son3@aol.com; Temple University, Dept. of Film & Media 
Arts, 14E Annenberg Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19122; (215) 
204-8472. 

FILMMAKER'S RESOURCE: Watson-Guptill Guide to work- 
shops, conferences, artists' colonies & academic programs 
by Julie Mackaman. A veritable "supermarket of great oppor- 
tunities — more than 150 of them — for a wide variety of 
filmmakers . . . from feature to doc to educational to animat- 
ed films." Contact: Watson-Guptill, 1515 Broadway, NY, 
NY10036. 

INDEPENDENT PRESS ASSOCIATION Find an independent 
audience! The IPA's new directory to the independent maga- 
zine world can give you the name & number of the editor you 
need. For just $24.95 (plus $3.05 S&H) Annotations: A Guide 
To The Independent Press can open up a world of diverse & 
exciting contacts. For order send a check to: IPA, 2390 
Mission St., #201, San Francisco, CA 94110-1836; (415) 
634-4401; www.indypress.org 

QUEER PUBLIC ACCESS TV PRODUCERS: Author seeks 
public access show tapes by/for/about gay, lesbian, bi, drag, 
trans subjects, for inclusion in academic press book on queer 
community programming. All program genres welcome. Incl. 
info about your program's history & distribution. Send VHS 
tapes to: Eric Freedman, Asst. Professor, Comm. Dept., 
Florida Atlantic Univ., 777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton, FL 33431; 
(561) 297-3850; efreedma@fau.edu 

Resources and Funds 

8xl0GLOSSY.COM: Online artists' co-op offers free listing for 
all actors, technicians & orgs in directory & searchable data- 
base, free email address (can be forwarded by fax or letter), 
free use of bulletin board. SASE to Jim Lawter, 37 Greenwich 
Ave, #1-6, Stamford, CT 06902; www.8xl0glossy.com 



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ARTS LINK U.S./JAPAN CREATIVE ARTIST'S PROGRAM pro- 
vides six-month residencies in Japan for individual creative 
artists in any discipline. Artists work on individual project 
which may incl. new work or pursuit of individual artistic 
goals. Fellows should also consider how Japan's cultures can 
influence their creative work. Applications must be post- 
marked by June 26. Contact: Arts Link, CEC Int'l Partners, 12 
West 31 St., NY, NY 10001-4415; artslink@cecip.org 

BAVC ARTIST EQUIP ACCESS AWARDS; Each winner will 
receive access to the Bay Area Video Coalition's postproduc- 
tion facility (incl. Avid 1000/400 & Media 100) & technical 
support services as well as publicity through BAVC's publi- 
cations & web site. Any BAVC member working on a non- 
commercial program in the postproduction phase is eligible 
for the 8th annual awards. Nonmembers interested in apply- 
ing must become BAVC members. Deadline: May 1. Applies, 
are. avail, on web site: www.bavc.org; (415) 861-3282. 

BUCK HENRY SCREENWRITING SCHOLARSHIP: two $500 
scholarships to support work of students enrolled in screen- 
writing course of study. Sold or optioned scripts ineligible. 
Contact: American Film Institute: (213) 856-7690. 

CA CCH MEDIA PROGRAM PUNNING GRANTS provide up to 
$750 to support development of major grant proposal & to 
pay for background research, consultations w/ humanities 
scholars & community reps, travel & similar activities neces- 
sary to develop proposal. Before applying, consult w/ CA 
Council for the Humanities staff. Deadline: Aug. 1. Contact: 
CCH, 312 Sutter St., Ste. 601, San Francisco, CA 94108; 
(415) 391-1474; in LA (213) 623-5993; in San Diego (619) 
232-4020; www.calhum.org 

CALIFORNIA ARTS COUNCIL offers various grants & pro- 
grams for performing arts. Contact: CA Arts Council, 1300 1 St, 
Ste. 930, Sacramento, CA 95814; (800) 201-6201; (916) 
322-6555; fax: 322-6575; cac@cwo.com; www.cac.ca.gov 

COMPOSER CONTACT ONLINE CATALOGUE: Harvestworks 
Digital Media Center presents this interactive database to 
learn more about composers who can be commissioned to 
write & record compostitions for various projects. MP3 sam- 
ples & biographical info can be accessed at the click of a 
mouse. Contact: harvestw@dti.net; www.harvestworks.org 

EASTMAN SCHOLARS PROGRAM: Colleges & Univs. in U.S. 
& Canada which offer a BA/BS/BFA, MA/MFA in film or film 
production may nominate two students for $5,000 scholar- 
ships. Deadline: June 15. For nomination form, write to Betsy 
A. McLane, International Documentary Association, 1551 S. 
Robertson Blvd., Ste. 201, Los Angeles, CA 90035. 

EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION CENTER offers grants & pre- 
sentation funds to electronic media/film artists & organiza- 
tions. Program provides partial assistance; maximum 
amount varies. Presentations must be open to public; limit- 
ed-enrollment workshops & publicly supported educational 
institutions ineligible. Appl. reviewed monthly. Deadline: 
ongoing. Contact: Program Dir. , Experimental TV Center, 109 
Lower Fairfield Rd., Newark Valley, NY 13811; (607) 687- 
4341; www.expenmentaltvcenter.org 

FAF 2000 GRANTS PROGRAM: Funds film & video artists liv- 
ing in the 10 Bay Area counties (S.F., Marin, Sonoma. Napa. 
Solano, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Santa Clara, 
Santa Cruz). Created in 1984. the "Fund for Independent 
Cinema" has awarded over $800,000 to 319 film & video 
artists & producers. 2000 Grants Program strategically target- 
ed to support those most difficult categories for fundraising: 



58 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



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new personal works (intended for short, artist-made films or 
videos that can be fully realized within grant amount); project 
development & completion/distribution in any genre. 
Recipients from 1999 are ineligibie in 2000; recipients from 
past years must provide a report on previous award(s). Semi- 
finalists will be asked to submit sample work. Awards will be 
announced in July. Applicants must submit a completed applic. 
form, project budget, film/videography & short description of 
proposed work Deadline: April 28. Applies. & guidelines avail. 
at Film Arts Foundation, 346 9th St., 2nd fl. San Francisco, 
CA 94103; info@filmarts.org; www.filmarts.org 

FAF 2000 STAND: (Support, Training & Access for New 
Directors) awards equipment, access & training (value: 
$1,500) & professional mentorship to first-time film- & 
videomakers from historically under-represented communi- 
ties. Projects can be up to 6 min. in length on super 8, 16mm, 
VHS & DV. Deadline: April 28. Applies. & guidelines avail, at 
Film Arts Foundation, 346 Ninth St., 2nd fl., San Francisco, 
CA 94103, info@filmarts.org; www.filmarts.org 

FRAMELINE FILM/VIDEO COMPLETION FUND provides 
grants from $500-$2,000 for completion of doc, educational, 
narrative, animated & experimental projects about or of inter- 
est to lesbians/gay men & their communities. Deadline: Oct. 
15. Contact: Frameline Film/Video Completion Fund, 346 
Ninth St., San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 703-8650. 

IDA/DAVID L. WOLPER STUDENT DOCUMENTARY ACHIEVE- 
MENT AWARD is a $1,000 honorarium presented annually to 
recognize exceptional achievement in nonfiction film & video 
at university level. Films & videos must be produced by reg- 
istered students & completed between 1/1/99 & 4/15/00. 
Winner is honored at 16th Annual IDA Awards Gala on Oct. 
27, has film screened at Docufest on Oct. 28 & receives 
$1,000 certificate from Eastman Kodak for film stock. 
Deadline: May 15. Contact: IDA Awards, 1551 S. Robertson 
Blvd., Ste. 201, L.A., CA, 90035; (310) 284-8422; fax: 785- 
9334; ida@artnet.net 

ITVS OPEN CALL 2K: ITVS considers proposals for new inno- 
vative programs of standard broadcast length for public tele- 
vision on on-going basis. ITVS seeks provocative, spellbind- 
ing stories from diverse points of view & diverse communi- 
ties. No finished works. Projects in any genre (comedy, satire, 
animation, drama, doc, experimental, short form) or stage of 
development will be considered. Programs should break tra- 
ditional molds of exploring cultural, political, social, or eco- 
nomic issues, take creative risks, or give voice to those not 
usually heard. Deadline: Sept. 15. Download applications & 
guidelines at www.itvs.org. Contact: (415) 356-8383 x. 232; 
Beky_Hayes@itvs.pbs.org 

JOHN D. & CATHERINE T. MACARTHUR FOUNDATION pro- 
vides partial support to selected doc series & films intended 
for nat'l or int'l broadcast & focusing on an issue w/in one of 
Foundation's two major programs (Human & Community 
Development; Global Security & Sustainability). Send prelim. 
2- to 3-page letter to: Alyce Myatt, John D. & Catherine T 
MacArthur Foundation, 140 S. Dearborn St., Ste. 1100, 
Chicago, IL 60603; (312) 726-8000; 4answers@ 
macfdn.org; www.macfdn.org 

LlnCS 2000 (Local Independents Collaborating w/ Stations), 
a funding initiative of ITVS, provides incentive or matching 
moneys ($10,000-$65,000) for partnerships btwn public TV 
stations, & indie producers. Series, single shows & intersti- 
tial pkgs will be considered, as will projects in any genre or 
stage of development. Programs should stimulate civic dis- 



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course & break traditional molds of exploring complex cultural, 
political, social or economic issues. Indie film & videomakers 
are encouraged to seek partnerships w/ their local public tele- 
vision stations. Deadline: April 28. Download applic. & guide- 
lines at www.itvs.org; Heidi_Schuster@itvs.pbs.org; (415) 
356-8383 x. 230. 

MEDIA ALLIANCE INDEPENDENT RADIO/SOUND ART FEL- 
LOWSHIP provides production support for individual artists 
working in independent radio or sound art discipline. Three 
fellowships of $5,000 each will be awarded. Applicants must 
be working/living within the five boroughs of NYC. Grant was 
made possible by Jerome Foundation. Deadline: May 15 
(postmarked). Contact: Rachel Melman at Media Alliance 
(212) 560-2919; MA, c/o WNET, 450 W. 33rd St, NY, NY 
10001; www.mediaalliance.org; audio grant@hotmail.com 

911 MEDIA ARTS CENTER offers $3,000 in services for media 
artist grant. Two $1,500 grants of production services will go to 
established indie video/film or multimedia artist, or to an 
emerging artist. Our Media Artist Grant supports by giving 
opportunities to individuals making films & videos throughout 
WA state. Grant can be used toward either a 911 Media Arts 
workshop, our digital video camera & light kit, or any of our 5 
editing suites. 911's suites incl. a multimedia workstation; 
nonlinear Avid MCXpress; nonlinear Avid Media Composer 
8000; & multi-format analog video editing suite. Facilities 
accommodate editing in the following formats: Betacam SR 
DVCAM, DVC Pro, DV, Hi-8, 3/4" SR S-VHS, & VHS. Deadline: 
June 30. Contact Tim Coulter, Media Services Din, (206) 682- 
6552; tim@911media.org; or send SASE to: 911 Media Arts 
Center, Media Artist Grant, 117 Yale Ave N., Seattle, WA 98109. 

NAATA provides funding for independent productions of new 
Asian American programs for public television. Current calls 
incl. annual open call for production funding (postmarked 
June 2) & open call for completion funding (postmarked Sept. 
29.) Appl. or info write NAATA Media Fund, 346 9th St. 2nd 
fl, San Francisco, CA 94103; (415) 863-0814; mediafund® 
naatanet.org; www.naatanet.org 

NEW DAY FILMS, premiere distribution cooperative for social 
issue media, seeks energetic independent film- & videomak- 
ers w/ challenging social issue docs for distribution to nonthe- 
atrical markets. Now accepting applies, for new membership. 
Contact: NDF, (415) 332-7172; www.newday.com 

NEWENGLANDFILM.COM is a unique online resource that 
provides local film & video professionals w/ searchable 
industry directory, listings of local events, screenings, jobs, 
calls for entries & upcoming productions, in addition to film- 
maker interviews & industry news. Reaching over 11,000 
unique visitors each month. All articles & listings on sites are 
free to read: www.nefilm.com 

NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL on the Arts' Electronic Media & 
Film Program announces the availability of up to $5,000 in 
funds for distributions of recently completed independent 
media arts projects by NY artists. Open to audio/radio, film, 
video, computer-based work & installation art. Deadline June 
30. Contact: NYSCA-EMF Program, 915 Broadway, NY NY 
10010; (212) 387-7058; fax: 387-7168; cmeyer@nysca.org 

NEXT WAVE FILMS, funded by the IFC, offers finishing funds 
& other vital support to emerging filmmakers. Focus is on 
English lang., feature-length films (fiction or non-fiction) that 
will be released theatrically. Contact: NWF, 2510 7th St., Ste. 
E, Santa Monica, CA 90405; (310) 392-1720; fax: 399-3455; 
launch@nextwavefilms.com; www.nextwavefilms.com 



OCTOBER EVENT GRANTS: NY Council for the Humanities 
celebrates State Humanities Month (Oct.) — a celebration of 
history, culture & human imagination w/ awards for local 
programming which reflect diversity of humanities institu- 
tions & subjects. Deadline: May 1. Contact: NYCH, 150 
Broadway, Ste. 1700, NY, NY 10038; (212) 233-1131; fax: 
233-4607; hum@echonyc.com; www.culturefront.org 

OPPENHEIMER CAMERA: new filmmaker grant equip, pro- 
gram offers access to professional 16mm camera system for 
first serious new productions in dramatic, doc, exp, or nar- 
rative form. Purely commercial projects not considered. 
Provides camera on year-round basis. No applic. deadline, 
but allow 10 week min. for processing. Contact: Film Grant, 
Oppenheimer Camera, 666 S. Plummer St., Seattle, WA 
98134; (206) 467-8666; fax: 467-9165; filmgrant@ 
oppenheimercamera.com 

PACIFIC ISLANDERS IN COMMUNICATIONS (PIC) announces 
Media Fund 2000 call for proposals for programs intended for 
national public television. Doc, performance, narrative, ani- 
mation, children's or cultural affairs programming proposals 
eligible. PIC is particularly interested in projects that examine 
& illuminate the realities of Pacific Islander issues such as 
diversity, identity & spirituality. Must be over 60 min. unless 
part of a series. Awards of up to $50,000 available for works- 
m-progress including production, postproduction, marketing & 
distribution. Research & development & scripting phases may 
receive up to $15,000. Deadline: May 31. Contact: Annie 
Moriyasu, Media Fund, to PIC, 1221 Kapi'olani Blvd., Ste. 6A- 
4, Honolulu, HI 96814, 808-591-0059; fax: 591-1114; 
moriyasu@aloha.net; www.piccom.org 

PACIFIC PIONEER FUND offered by Film Arts Foundation to 
doc filmmakers living in CA, OR & WA. Limited to orgs certified 
as public charities, which control selection of individual recip- 
ients & supervise their projects. Grants range from $1,000- 
$8,000 w/approx. $75,000 awarded annually. Deadlines: May 
15 & Oct. 1. For proposal summary sheet, send SASE to: Film 
Arts Foundation, 346 9th St., 2nd fl., San Francisco, CA 94103; 
(415) 454-1133; wwwpacificpioneerfund.com 

PAUL ROBESON FUND FOR INDEPENDENT MEDIA solicits 
projects addressing critical social & political issues w/ goal 
of creating social change. Funding for radio projects in all 
stages of prod.; film & video projects in preproduction or dis- 
tribution stages only. Grants range from $3,000-$8,000. 
Deadline: May 15. Contact Vivianna Bianchi, Program 
Officer, The Funding Exchange, 666 Broadway, #500, NY, NY 
10012; (212) 529-5300. 

ROBERT FLAHERTY FILM SEMINAR. Grants-in-aid avail- 
able to qualified candidates to attend the 46th Robert 
Flaherty Film Seminar to be held at Vassar College in 
Poughkeepsie, NY from June 16-22. Awards range from 
$200-$400 towards the registration of $700 (transportation 



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Roy, Exec. Director, Int'l Film Seminars, Inc., 462 Broadway, 
Ste. 510, NY, NY 10013; (212) 925-3191, fax: 925-3482; 
ifs@flahertyseminar.org; www.flahertyseminar.org 

ROBIN EICKMAN FEATURE FILM AWARD: Created in 1999 to 
honor the longtime executive director of the San Francisco 
Film & Video Arts Commission, this award provides goods & 
services toward production of a feature film budgeted under 
$200,000. Residency & other requirements of the FAF Grants 
Program apply. Detailed treatment required. Semi-finalists 
will be asked to provide sample work & complete script. 
Deadline: April 28. Applications & guidelines avail, at Film 
Arts Foundation, 346 9th St., 2nd fl„ San Francisco, CA 
94103; info@filmarts.org; www.filmarts.org 

SOROS DOCUMENTARY FUND supports int'l doc films & 
videos on current & significant issues in human rights, free- 
dom of expression, social justice & civil liberties. Two project 
categories: initial seed funds (grants up to $15,000), projects 
in production or post (average grant $25,000, but max. 
$50,000). Highly competitive. For info: Soros Doc. Fund, 
Open Society Institute, 400 W. 59th St., NY, NY 10019; (212) 
548-0657; www.soros.org/sdf 

STANDBY PROGRAM provides artists & nonprofits access to 
broadcast quality video postproduction services at discount- 
ed rates. For rate card & appl. contact: Standby Program, Box 
184, NY NY 10012-9991; (212) 219-0951; fax: 219-0563; 
www.standby.org 



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CONTACT: [scott@aivf.orgl DEADLINES: 1ST OF EACH 

month, 2 months prior to cover date (e.g. may 1 
for july issue). classifieds of up to 240 char- 
acters (incl. spaces & punctuation) cost 
$25/issue for aivf members, $35 for nonmem- 
bers; 240-480 characters cost $45/issue for 
members, $65 for nonmembers; 480-720 char- 
acters cost $60/issue for members, $90 for 
nonmembers. include valid member id#. ads 
exceeding requested length will be edited. all 
copy should be typed and accompanied by a 
check or money order payable to: fivf, 304 
hudson st., ny, ny 10013. to pay by credit card, 
include: card type (visa/mc); card number; 
name on card; expiration date; billing address 
& daytime phone. ads running 5+ times receive 
$5 discount per issue. 

Buy* Rent • Sell 

DP W/ CANON XL-1 BETA-SP DECK RENTAL AVAIL. I shoot all 
formats: film/video. Nonlinear editing w/ all video formats. 12 
yrs exp w/ Academy Award nomination. Affordable rates. DMP 
Productions (212) 967-1667; http://members.tripod.com 
/-dmpfilm 

DV DECK FOR RENT from $60/day. Use as source machine 
for non-linear editing or to make digital-to-digital Firewire 
dubs (back up those masters!). Also rent DV cameras. 
Delivery available. (718)398-3750. 

FOR RENT: OFF-LINE AVID, We will beat any price either in 
your space or our beautiful, spacious, and comfortable 
Chelsea location on West 27th St. Avid 400, Beta deck, 36GB 
storage. Free cappucino. Call (212) 579-4294. 

FOR RENT: SONY 3-CHIP DIGITAL CAMERA (DCR-VX1000). 
Also available: mic, light & tripod. Negotiable rates for both 
short & long-term rentals. Please call (718) 284-2645. 

FOR RENT: Sony 3-chip digital DV Cam camera, plus light 
set, tripod & sound equipment. Negotiable rates for both 
short & long-term rentals. Please call (917) 549-5456. 

FOR SALE: 3-deck 3/4" JVC 850-600 tc editing system with 
"live" A-B cutting. Comes with Abner controller & assorted 
cables, mixer, monitors, etc. Best offer over $3,000 taken. 
Special break for NYC residents. J. Godmilow (219) 631-7167. 

FOR SALE: Panasonic AGEZ1 miniDV Camcorder. Extra batter- 
ies. Beachtek audio converter. $1,800. Call (203) 226-8313. 

M.L. PRODS, is renting: 1) Final Cut Pro Edit System w/ 160 
gigs (12 hrs broadcast, 100 hrs low res.), 3 monitors & all 
peripherals: $20/$180/$750 per hr/day/week. 2) Broadcast 
qual. Digital Video hidden camera system: $250/day. (718) 
499-2829. 

PRODUCTION/OFFICE SPACE Prime Tribeca location. Short 
and long-term rentals available. 5 semi-private work sta- 
tions with phone, fax, printer, and copier. 24hr access. DV 
camera and edit facility also available. Co-productions pos- 
sible. Contact Scott at (212) 625-6565. 

SOHO AUDIO RENTALS: Time code DATs, RF diversity mics, 
playback systems, pkgs. Great rates, great equipment & 
great service. Discounts for AIVF members. Larry (212) 226- 
2429; sohoaudio@earthlink.net 

VIDEO DECKS/EDIT SYSTEMS/CAMERAS FOR RENT: I 

Deliver! Beta-SP Deck (Sony UVW-1800) $150/day, 



! $450/wk. DV deck $150/day. S-VHS off-line edit system 
$450/wk. Sony DVCAM 3-chip camera $150/day. Lights, 
J tripods, mics & mixers. David (212) 362-1056. 

Distribution 

16 YEARS AS AN INDUSTRY LEADER! Representing out- 
standing video on healthcare, mental health, disabilities & 
related issues. Our films win Oscars, Emmys, Duponts, 
Freddies & more. Join us!. Fanlight Productions: (800) 937- 
4113; www.fanlight.com 

A+ DISTRIBUTOR since 1985 invites producers to submit 
quality programs on VHS w/ SASE for distributor considera- 
tion. Mail to Chip Taylor Communications; 15 Spollett Dr., 
Derry, NH 03038; www.chiptaylor.com 

AQUARIUS HEALTH CARE VIDEOS: Award-winning distribu- 
tor of outstanding videos because of outstanding producers. 
Join our collection of titles on disabilities, mental health, 
aging, nursing, psychosocial issues, children & teen issues. 
For educational/health markets, teslie Kussmann, 5 
Powderhouse Lane, Sherborn, MA 01770; (508) 651-2963; 
www.aquariusproductions.com 

ATA TRADING CORP., actively & successfully distributing 
independent products for over 50 yrs., seeks new program- 
ming of all types for worldwide distribution into all markets. 
Contact: (212) 594-6460; fax 594-6461. 

BUYINDIES.COM; Filmmakers & distributors call sell their 
films at Buylndies.com — an online community to buy & sell 
indie films. Easily add your films to the Buylndies.com cata- 
log and create a free customized web store for your own site. 
Already over 50,000 titles have been gathered for the cata- 
log. To find out more, go to [www.buyindies.com/sell] All gen- 
res, filmmakers welcome! We sell to both regular consumers 
and institutional buyers & will sell any format: DVD, VHS, 
16mm, etc. Further details at www.buyindies.com or 
info@buyindies.com 

CHOICES, distributor of World Almanac Video and Choices 
Video, is looking for completed quality documentaries and 
films for distribution. Contact: Choices, Inc., 369 S. Doheny 
Drive, PMB 1105, Beverly Hills, CA 90211; (310) 358-0885. 

HUMAN RELATIONS MEDIA, a leader in distributing educa- 
tional materials for over 25 years, is now looking for new 
video & film productions to be included exclusively in its 
2000 catalog. HRM is specifically acquiring programs that 
deal w/ teen drug abuse, sexuality, relationships, smoking & 
violence. All content should be appropriate for classroom 
use. Please submit your production on VHS w/ a letter 
describing any prior distribution, reviews & awards. Only 
videotapes w/ SASEs will be returned. Send to: Human 
Relations Media, Attn: Creative Director, 41 Kensico Dr., Mt. 
Kisco, NY 10549. Visit us online at www.hrmvideo.com 

INTERNET DISTRIBUTOR seeks quality independent films for 
home video and other sales. We offer producers a significant 
piece of the gross, based on rights package. Check our web site 
for details & submission info: www.indie-underground.com 

LOOKING FOR AN EDUCATIONAL DISTRIBUTOR 7 Consider 
the University of California. We can put 80 years of success- 
ful marketing expertise to work for you. Kate Spohr: (510) 
643-2788; www-cmil.unex.berkeley.edu/media/ 

NBS WANTS VIDEOS OR FILMS FOR BROADCAST NBS is 

now accepting new projects to promote internationally. NBS 
is a broadcasting company that can allow viewing of your 



production around the world. Send submissons on VHS or DV 
to: 4101 Meadows Ln., Las Vegas, NV 89107. Contact: Stu 
Rich at (702) 499-9769 or email: info@onnbs.com 

SEEKING EDUCATIONAL VIDEOS on guidance issues such as 

violence, drug prevention & parenting for exclusive distribu- 
tion. Our marketing gives unequaled results. Call Sally 
Germain at The Bureau for At-Risk Youth: (800) 99-YOUTH x 
210. 

THE CINEMA GUILD, leading film/video/multimedia distrib, 
seeks new doc, fiction, educational & animation programs for 
distribution. Send videocassettes or discs for evaluation to: 
The Cinema Guild, 1697 Broadway, Ste. 506, NY NY 10019; 
(212) 246-5522; TheCinemaG@aol.com. Ask for our 
Distribution Services brochure. 

Freelancers 

35MM/ 16MM PROD. PKG w/cinematographer. Complete stu- 
dio truck w/ DP's own Arri 35BL, 16SR, HMIs, dolly, jib crane, 
lighting, grip, Nagra . . . more. Ideal 1-source for the low-bud- 
get feature! Call Tom today for booking. (201) 741-4367. 

A LEGACY PRODUCTIONS, renowned documentanans for HBO 
et al., now offers video production/post services. Beta/Digital/ 
Hi-8 formats & state-of-art non-linear editing at ridiculously 
fair rates. Steve (212) 807-6264; mani@interport.net 

AATON CAMERA PKG. Absolutely perfect for independent 
features. Top of the line XTR Prod w/ S16, time code video, 
the works! Exp DP w/ strong lighting & prod skills wants to 
collaborate in telling your story. Andy (212) 501-7862; 
circa@interport.net 

ACCLAIMED AND UNUSUAL instrumental band can provide 
music for your next project. Contact "Magonia" for demo: 
(781) 932-4677; boygirl@mediaone.net; www.magonia.com 

ACCOUNTANT/BOOKKEEPER/CONTROLLER: Experience in 
both corporate & nonprofit sectors. Hold MBA in Marketing & 
Accounting. Freelance work sought. Sam Sagenkahn (212) 
481-3576. 

ANDREW DUNN, Director of Photography/camera operator 
Arri35 BL3, Aaton XTRprod S16, Sony DVCAM. Experience in 
features, docs, TV & industrials. Credits: Dog Run. Strays, 
Working Space/Working Light. (212) 477-0172; AndrewD158 
@aol.com 

AWARD-WINNING EDITOR available, with own broadcast- 
quality Media 100. Will negotiate affordable rates for worth- 
while projects. Also 7 years Avid experience on docs & shorts. 
Call (917) 548-5989. 

AWARD-WINNING EDITOR, w/ Avid and Beta SP facility. 
Features, shorts, doc, music videos, educational, industrials, 
demos. Trilingual; Spanish, English, Catalan. Nuria Olive- 
Belles (212) 627-9256. 

BETA SP & DVCAM Videographer with both cameras, lights, 
monitors, mics & wireless. Very portable, light weight & I'm 
fast. Experience includes; documentaries, industrials, 
fundraisers & fashion. Please call John Kelleran (212) 334- 
3851. 

BETA SP VIDEOGRAPHER, skilled in everything from exterior 
hand held to Rembrandt interior lighting styles, seeking inter- 
esting projects to shoot. Has attractive Sony Betacam SR 
cool sets of lights & sensitive microphones. Willing to travel. 
Yitzhak Gol (718) 591-2760. 



\pnl 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 63 



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BRENDAN C. FLYNT: Director of Photography w/ many fea- 
ture & short film credits. Owns 35 Arri BL3, Super 16/16 
Aaton, HMIs, Tungsten, & dolly w/ tracks. Awards at 
Sundance & Ramdance. Call for quotes & reel at (212) 226- 
8417; web site: www.dp-brendanflynt.com 

BROADCAST ENGINEER, 15 yrs. exp. Has Betacam SP loca- 
tion package. 3-chip mini DV. Looking to work on projects. 
Michael (212) 691-1311. 

CAMERAPERSON: Visual storyteller loves to collaborate, ex- 
plore diverse styles & formats. Brings passion & productivity to 
your shoot. Award-winner w/ latest Super/Std.16 Aaton XTR 
Prod, package. Todd (718) 222-9277; wacass@concentric.net 

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Documentary, commercial, narrative 
experience. Beta SR Mini DV, Aaton XTR Packages. 
Comfortable Avid suite (AVR 77). Call Andre for reel: (212) 
367-3730. 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ reg/S-16mm Aaton. video-tap, 
lighting gear & more. Digital video too. Collaborations in 
features, shorts, docs, music videos & other compelling 
visions. Kevin Skvorak, reel & rates (718) 782-9179; 
kevskvk@inx.net 

CINEMATOGRAPHER w/ Arri SR Super 16 package & 35IIC, 
w/ over 15 years in the industry. Credits incl. 2nd unit, FX & 
experimental. Looking for interesting projects. Will travel. 
Theo (212) 774-4157; pager: (213) 707-6195. 

COMPOSER: Creative, productive, and diversified com- 
poser will work with you and your budget. Visit my web 
site for details, music samples, and info on buyout 
music CDs. Michael Hayes at: (615) 329-2313 x. 2227; 
www.michaelhayesmusic.com 

COMPOSER: Experienced, award-winning Yale conservatory 
grad writes affordable music in any style that will enhance 
your project. Save money without compromising creativity. 
Full service digital recording studio. Free demo CD/initial 
consultation/rough sketch. Call Joseph Rubenstein; (212) 
242-2691; joe56@earthlink.net 

COMPOSER: MFA (NYU/Tisch) and extensive experience with 
theater, dance & Sundance filmmakers. Will work with any 
budget in styles ranging from classical to drum & bass to 
African-Hungarian jazz. Low budget services include digital 
studio & live cello. Contact Raul Rothblatt (212) 254-0155; 
deblatt@interport.net 

COMPOSER Miriam Cutler loves to collaborate with filmmak- 
ers — features, docs. Sundance: Licensed To Kill , Death A 
Love Story I Peabody: The Castro I POV: Double Life of Ernesto 
Gomez & more (323) 664-1807; mircut@pacificnet.net 

COMPOSER: Original music for your film or video project. 
Credits include NYU film projects and CD. Will work with any 
budget. Complete digital studio. NYC area. Call Ian O'Brien: 
(201) 432-4705; iobnen@bellatlantic.net 

COMPOSER: Perfect music for your project. Orchestral to 
techno — you name it! Credits incl. NFL, PBS, Sundance, 
Absolut. Bach, of Music, Eastman School. Quentin Chiappetta 
(718) 752-9194; (917) 721-0058; qchiap@el.net 

COMPOSER: Award-winning, experienced, will creatively score 
your film/TV/video project in any musical style. Extensive cred- 
its include nationally released features, TV dramas, documen- 
taries, animation, on Networks, MTV, Disney, PBS. Columbia MA 
in composition; full digital studio; affordable. Demo reel avail- 
able. Elliot Sokolov (212) 721-3218 or Elliotsoko@aol.com 



CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ lighting director 
background. Specialty films my specialty. Can give your film 
that unique "look." 16mm & 35mm packages avail. Call 
Charles for reel: (212) 295-7878. 

DIGITAL VIDEO— Sony VX100 digital camera & cameraman, 
Sennheiser ME 66 shotgun mic, pro accessories. Experienced 
in dance, theater & performance art documentation. $150 a 
day plus tapes for documentations. Larger projects nego- 
tiable. Final Cut Pro digital editing with editor $25 per hour. 
John Newell (212) 677-6652; johnewell@earthlink.net 

DIGITAL VIDEO Videographer/D.R, with Canon XL-1 video- 
cam; prefer documentaries, shorts and less traditional pro- 
jects; documentation for dance, music and performance. 
Alan Roth (718) 218-8065; alanroth@mail.com 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Award winning, exp, looking 
for interesting projects. Credits incl. features, docs & com- 
mercials in the U.S., Europe & Israel. Own complete Aaton 
Super 16 pkg & lights. Call Adam for reel. (212) 932-8255 or 
(917) 504-7244. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY; Looking for creative projects 
to lens; features, commercials, shorts, music videos & doc- 
umentaries. 35 and 16mm packages avail. New York/Boston 
based, will travel. Call for reel: (781) 545-2609; 
bkarol@mediaone.net 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY looking for interesting fea- 
tures, shorts, ind. projects, etc. Credits incl. features, com- 
mercials, industrials, short films, music videos. Aaton 16/S- 
16 pkg avail. Abe (718) 263-0010. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Owner 16mm Aaton, plus 
35mm non-sync & hand-crank cameras. Experimental back- 
ground; creative look. Shooting credits incl.: features, shorts, 
promos, commercials & music videos. New York based, will 
travel. Carolyn (718) 930-7969. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ complete Arri-Zeiss 16mm 
pkg. Lots of indie film experience. Features, shorts and music 
videos. Save money and get a great looking film. Willing to 
travel. Rates are flexible and I work quickly. Matthew: (914) 
439-5459 or (617) 244-6730. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ own 35mm sync sound 

Arriflex BLII avail. Beautiful reel, affordable rates. Crew on 
standby. Work incl. several features, shorts, music videos. 
Travel no problem. Dave (718) 230-1207; page (917) 953- 
hl7. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY w/ awards, talent, savvy & 

experience. Owned Aaton 16mm/Super 16mm pkg., 35mm 
package available. Call for my reel. Bob (212) 989-7992. 

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY with Am BL 3. Aaton XTR 
Prod S16/16mm, and Canon XL1 camera package is ready to 
shoot your project. Call Jay Silver at (718) 383-1325 for a 
copy of reel, email: hihosliver@earthlink.com 

DP/DIRECTOR WITH CAMERAS in S. Calif. Low budget film 
rate includes DV (NTSC or PAL) 35mm packages (even 
Cinemascope!), Free permits and insurance! DV editing. 3000 
square foot studio, 20K lights, dollies, cell phones, walkie 
talkies & grip equipment. Just finished SAG feature w/ 26 hours 
of footage in 10 days! No Risk, Money Back Guarantee. East 
coast or European travel not a problem. Ask about our Free Test 
Shoot policy! Visa/MC. 1-800-241-5345; www.alamofilms.com 

DP w/ full postproduction support. Expenenced film/video DP 
w/ 16:9 digital & 16mm film cameras, lighting/sound gear & 



64 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



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complete nonlinear editing services. Call (212) 868-0028 
Derek Wan, H.K.S.C. tor reel & low "shoot & post" bundle rates. 

DVCAM OWNER/OPERATOR. Sony DSR-300 camera, Lowel 
doc light kit. LA-based DP w/ experience in award-winning 
docs, narratives. Up & coming, which means good resume, 
very impressive reel, very low rates. Bryan (213) 483-5252; 
bldonnell@aol.com 

EDITOR: Award-winning director/editor, whose last film was 
selected by Cannes, seeks editing projects. Avid available. 
(212) 352-4476. 

EDITOR WITH AVID: Conscientious advocate of the Invisible 
Cut. Comfy West Village space. AVR77, 144 gigs, Beta, VHS, 
DV. MC/Visa. Bill G. (212) 243-1343, gcomvid@usa.net 

ENTERTAINMENT ATTORNEY: Frequent contributor to "Legal 
Brief" columns in The Independent & other magazines, 
offers legal services to film & video community on projects 
from development thru distribution. Contact Robert L. Seigel, 
Esq., (212) 333-7000. 

EXPERIENCED CINEMATOGRAPHER with crew & equipment; 
16mm & 35mm. Short films & features. Vincent (212) 779- 
1441. 

INNOVATIVE EDITOR w/ Avid available for challenging pro- 
jects. Experienced in fiction features, commercials, music 
video & documentary. Reel available. Rodney (718) 246-8235. 

JOHN BASKO: Documentary cameraman w/ extensive inter- 
national Network experience. Civil wars in Kosovo, Beirut, El 
Salvador, Nicaragua, Tiananmen Square student uprising. 
Equipment maintained by Sony. (718) 278-7869; fax: 278- 
6830; Johnbasko@aol.com 

LOCATION SOUND: Over 20 yrs sound exp. w/ time code 
Nagra & DAT, quality mics. Reduced rates for low-budget pro- 
jects. Harvey & Fred Edwards, (518) 677-5720; cell: (917) 
319-3365; edfilms@worldnet.att.net 

MEDIA 100 NONLINEAR EDITING: Latest software & fx. Beta 
SP & digital camera packages, full lighting & audio support 
gear. Steadicam & jib avail. Award-winning works. 
Reasonable rates. Pro Video Productions, Inc. (516) 366- 
2100; pvpprods@aol.com 

Opportunities • Gigs 

AGENT WANTED to represent heavily experienced video pro- 
duction group with extensive work done in commercial, 
industrial, documentary, news and animation areas. Full 
process. Natalie: (718) 332-2191; cell: (917) 674-4742. 

ANGELCITI FILM TOUR Call for entries: Accepting submis- 
sions of films, videos & screenplays of all types for Market in 
LA and Festival Tour (323) 461-4256. 

CYBERBUSTERS, INC., a small East Village multimedia 
start-up, is looking for a freelance lighting person as well as 
a freelance sound person. The company deals with eclectic 
topics including fitness, medicine, meditation, art, adult 
themes and many more. Please contact Husayn or Andre at 
emballon@pipeline.com or call (212) 598-0074. 

DEPT OF FILM & MEDIA ARTS at Temple Univ. is searching 
for 3 faculty positions to start in Aug. 2000: 1) Tenure-track 
asst. prof who is an active, ind. new media artist &/or schol- 
ar to teach both new media production & media history/the- 
ory. Will teach in both new media cross-disciplinary program 
& the Dept. of Film & Media Arts. Must have broad knowledge 



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Outputs negative cut lists, optical lists, pull lists, dupe lists and more 



FilmLogic is designed for filmmakers who are shooting 35mm 
or 16mm film and want to edit electronically while finishing on 
film. Not another editing program, FilmLogic is an application 
which works with popular digital non-linear video editing systems. 
Call Focal Point Systems. Inc. in the USA toll-free at 877-209-7458 




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NEW DAY FILMS is the premiere distrib- 
ution cooperative for social issue media. 
Owned and run by its members, New 
Day Films has successfully distributed 
documentary film and video for twenty- 
five years. 

Call 415.332.7172 



http://www.newday.com 



Seeking energetic 
independent makers 
f social issue 
xumentaries f' 

ew membership. 



of new media software tools. Expertise required in some of 
the following: PhotoShop, Dreamweaver, Director, 3-D & dig- 
ital editing applications; HTML, Unix & other programming 
languages. Salary highly competitive. 2) New Media 3-yr 
Producer-in-Residence: Assoc, level, non-tenure track 
appointment renewable in one of the constituent depts. 
Teaching will focus on multimedia producing in the interme- 
diate level production course & in the senior projects course. 
Producer-in-Residence will be expected to support program 
by helping to develop industry relations, identifying guest lec- 
turers & advising about selections for exhibition website. 
Industry experience essential. Salary competitive w/ industry. 
3) A tenure-track asst. prof who is an ind. filmmaker w/ 
strong commitment to teaching. Responsibilities incl. teach- 
ing mtro, intermediate & advanced grad & undergrad 
film/video production classes & supervising student's pro- 
jects. Expertise req. in some of the following areas: directing, 
producing, scriptwriting, cinematography, lighting & editing 
for film & non-linear video systems. Salary competitive w/ 
industry. Dept. of Film & Media Arts enrolls 400 BA & 60 MFA 
students in a program dedicated to ind. media incl. doc, new 
media & alternative voices in narrative film & video. Ind. 
voices incl. women, minorities & others who've been eco- 
nomically, politically or artistically disenfranchised. For more 
info about the Dept. of Film & Media Arts, consult web site: 
twww.temple.edu/departments/fma]. An MFA, Ph.D., or 
equiv. professional exp. is req. for each position, along w/ an 
impressive portfolio of creative work in film, video or digital 
media, or a combo of scholarly & creative work, & a commit- 
ment to the above philosophy. Search will remain open until 
the positions are filled. Submit a cover letter, vita & the 
names, phone numbers & email addresses of 3 references 
to: Chair, Search Committee, Dept. of Film & Media Arts, 
Temple Univ., Philadelphia, PA. 19122. Temple Univ. is an 
Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. Women & 
minorities are encouraged to apply. 

DP WANTED: Low-budget film, shoot 18 days, summer 
2000, Cincinnati/Eastern Kentucky. First-time production, 
looking for DP excited by Bresson-style shoot: one lens, nat- 
ural light, non-actors involved. (513) 761-8517; 
LMa5448000@aol.com 

FRESH AIR FUND seeks television production teacher & pho- 
tography teacher during 9 wk. summer residential camp in 
Fishkill, NY for NYC teens. Prior teaching exp. req'd. Resume 
to Miriam Seidenfeld, 1040 6th Ave., 3rd fl„ NY. NY 10018; 
(800) 367-0003. EOE. 

SUITCASE PRODUCTIONS seeking exp. transcribers & camera 
crews to work on upcoming TV projects. Also seeking general 
production & development interns. Fax resumes to (212) 647- 
0940 & send reels to: 307 7th Ave., Ste. 1607, NY, NY 10001. 

WELL-ESTABLISHED freelance camera group in NYC seeking 
professional cameramen and soundmen w/ solid Betacam 
video experience to work w/ our wide array of clients. If qual- 
ified contact COA at (212) 505-1911. Must have video sam- 
ples/reel. 

WRITER/DIRECTOR SEEKS other writer/directors to collabo- 
rate with (particularly for writing screenplays). Wanted: 
smart, witty, and creative people, call Ken (212) 979-8978. 

Preproduction • Development 

BUDGETS/INVESTOR PACKAGE Experienced Line Producer 
will prepare script breakdowns, shooting schedules & 



66 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



detailed budgets. Movie Magic equipped. MC, Visa, Amex. 
Indie rates negotiable. Mark (212) 340-1243. 

INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION COMPANY offers production 
services and personnel including directors, producers and 
videographers with DV camera package in the U.S. and 
Europe. Pahni Inc. (718) 243-0775 or visit our web site at: 
www.pahni.com 

SU-CITY PICTURES: The Screenplay Doctor, The Movie 
Mechanic: We provide screenplay/treatment/synopsis/films- 
in-progress insight/analysis. Studio credentials include: 
Miramax & Warner Bros. Competitive rates. Brochure: (212) 
219-9224; www.su-city-pictures.com 

POSTPRODUCTION 

16MM & 35MM OPTICAL SOUNDTRACKS: If you want "High 
Quality" optical sound for your film, you need a "High 
Quality" optical sound negative. Mike Holloway, Optical 
Sound Chicago, Inc., 676 N. LaSalle St., #404, Chicago, IL 
60610; (312) 943-1771, oreves: (847) 541-8488. 

16MM CUTTING ROOMS: 8-plate & 6-plate fully equipped 
rooms, sound-transfer facilities, 24-hr access. Downtown, near 
all subways & Canal St. Reasonable rates. (212) 925-1500. 

16MM SOUND MIX only $100/hr. Interlocked 16mm picture 
& tracks mixed to 16 or 35mm fullcoat. 16mm/35mm post 
services: picture & sound editorial, ADR, interlock screening, 
16mm mag xfers (.06/ft), 16mm edgecoding (.015/ft) Call 
Tom (201) 741-4367. 

AVID 8000 & 1000 SUITES: Pleasant, friendly, comfortable 
Upper West Side location. On-line & off-line, AVR 77; reason- 



able & affordable rates. Tech support provided. (212) 595- 
5002; (718) 885-0955. 

AVID EDITOR; A dozen feature credits. New Media Composer 
w/ AVR 77 & offline rez. Beta SP, DAT, extra drives, Pro-tools 
editing & mixing, and your Avid or mine. Fast and easy to get 
along with. Credit cards accepted. Drina (212) 561-0829. 

AVID IN BROOKLYN, or delivered to your hood. Call everyone 
else and then call us! We'll work with you! Avid 1000, AVR 
77. Lowest prices around! Your editors or ours. No project too 
small or too big. Call Alex (718) 855-0216. 

AVID MEDIA COMPOSER SUITE: Online/Offline, AVR 77, 
Beta SR 3D RealTime Graphics, Intraframe, 888 Digidesign 
Audio Interface, Digidizing Video Slave Driver, professional 
recording studio monitors, two 20" viewing monitors, SMPTE 
viewing monitors, DAT recorder, 16 channel mixer, ProTools, 
After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator. 350 MHz/128 MB G3. 
Creative, skilled staff editors or use your own. Spacious, 
charming environment. 24 hr access. Best rates in NYC. 
Ph/Fx (718) 802-9874 or (917) 783-5128. 

AVID MERIDIEN online editing suites — uncompressed, non- 
linear editing at great rates. Variable pricing based on offline 
and online editing schedules. AfterEffects, Illustrator & 
Photoshop installed. Call Fusion Artists @ (212) 684-4086. 

AVID SUITES 9000/1000 Online/Offline, AVR 77 3Dfx, 
Beta/3/4/Hi-8/DAT/DV Decks, ProTools/PhotoShop/After- 
Effects. Comfortable environment, W. Side, indie friendly. 24 
hr Access. Editors avail, for reasonable rates. Sean (212) 
595-4400. 

BOSTON MEDIA 100 for rent. Unbeatable indie rates. Top of 
the line system; broadcast quality; 32 gigs ; Beta SP deck; 



tech support. Office w/ 24 hr access, full kitchen & beautiful 
garden. Award-winning editors. Astrea Films (617) 666- 
5122. 

BRODSKY & TREADWAY Film-to-tape masters. Reversal 
only. Regular 8mm, super 8, or archival 16mm to 1" or 
Betacam SR We love early B&W & Kodachrome. Scene-by- 
scene only. Correct frame rates. For appt. call (978) 948- 
7985. 

MEDIA 100 EDITING Broadcast quality, newest software. 
Huge storage & RAM. Betacam, 3/4", all DV formats, S-VHS, 
Hi-8 . . . Great location, friendly environment & low rates, 
tech support, talented editors & fx artists available: (212) 
868-0028. 

OUTPOST Digital Productions: 3 rooms, New Iced Avid Media 
Composer V-8 including AfterEffects on Ice, and 2 Media 100 
V-5.0. Broadcast quality. Beta, DV, Hi-8, VHS. Lots of drive 
space: great editors or self-operate. Low rates, free coffee. 
(718) 599-2385. Williamsburg; www.outpostvideo.com 

PRODUCER WITH PRODUCTION OFFICE looking for low 
budget features to produce in New York. Will provide budget- 
ing/scheduling, production personnel. Video, shorts and fea- 
ture experience. Call Val at (212) 295-7878 or email me: 
zelda212@netscape.net 

PRODUCTION OFFICE: West 85th in NYC, fully wired all 
office equip, Beta, 3/4" dubbing, animation. Avid room as 
needed. Short or long-term. Dana (212) 501-7878 x. 222. 

VIDEO PROJECTOR FOR RENT: Show your work on the big 
screen. $200/day, decks and sound equipment available. 
David (212) 362-1056. 



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Welcome to 

International Independent Indiekino Film Festival. 

IIFF-y2k will be held... 

It will make all independent film 
as important as commercial film. 

IIFF-y2k opening 

date: June 19.2000 

Where : On the internet 

(An unprecedented event! ! !) J 












InternationallndieKINO 

FILM Festival 








P* 




IIFF 


•y2k 






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Indie films wanted 

When: Until May 15.2000 

Prize : Total US $ 15.000 

How to join : 

Format of exhibition eopy:35mm. 16mm. video 

Format of submission tape(VHS onlj |:NTSC 

Details can be found on www.HFF.org 






j^S^V 




/ 




USA: ABSTRACT studio 

34W32th ST. #303 New York N. Y 10001 
KR : Hyang Mok B/D Fr.6 1698-14 SeoCho-Dong 

SeoCho-Gu, Seoul. Korea. 
Tel : 82-2-593-6391 Fax : 82-2-593-6291 
E-Mail : in/oia indiekino.com 
















Sponsor 

Hanaro Telecom. Inc www.H v\ VRO.com 
On Media. Inc www.CH \:: co ki 




www 


lndieKINO.com 








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April 2000 THE INDEPENDENT 67 



www.aivf.org 



by Michelle Coe 

Most events take place at the AIVF Office: 304 Hudson St. 
(between Spring & Vandam) 6th fl, in New York City. Subways: 
1, 9 (Houston St.); C, E (Spring St.); A (Canal St.). 

AIVF events require advanced registration and prepayment, 
unless otherwise noted. Due to space limitations, we will hold 
all reserved seats until 5 minutes before the event, upon which 
unclaimed seats will be given to walk-ins. RSVP to the Events 
Hotline with Visa, AmEx, or Mastercard or mail a check or 
money order. (Your check must be received one week prior to 
event to reserve your seat. Seats are sold on a first-come first- 
served basis.) 

The followings details were being confirmed at presstime. 
Please visit our website: www.aivf.org or our Event Hotline: 
(212) 807-1400 x. 301 for the latest information. 

April Events 

Please note: the AIVF office ivill he closed 
April 17-21. We will reopen April 24- 

AFTER HOURS 

MEMBERS' ORIENTATION & OPEN HOUSE 

When: Every 1st Wed. (April 5, May 3) 
Library is open from 11 a.m. -9 p.m. 
Where: Filmmakers Resource Library, at AIVF 
Cost: free, no RSVP required. 

AIVF offers extended Resource Library hours 
once a month for members as well as the gener- 
al public. Our library houses hundreds of titles — 
from essential directories (The Hollywood 
Creative Directory, The CPB Directory, The Blu- 
Book, NYPG) to film history and biographies, 
along with back issues of trade magazines 
(Variety, Hollywood Reporter) and film publica- 
tions (Res, Filmmaker, MovieMaker, along with 
20 years of The Independent). After Hours is 
also the perfect time to pick up the latest ver- 
sion of the AIVF Member Benefits list, or ask 
questions about all that membership gets you. 

AIVF visits LA 

Wlien: Mon. April 17; time and location tba 

AIVF invites our Los Angeles colleagues (and 
those visiting for the LAIFF) to join us for an 
informal reception celebrating the Los Angeles 
issue of The Independent — and kicking off a new 
LA Salon! For info on time and place, visit 
www.aivf.org or call (323) 871-8554. 



ShortFifm 
Exhibition 




AIVF AT PS 2000 

AIVF CO-PRESENTS PANEL DISCUSSIONS ON 
THE CREATIVE PROCESS & SHORTS DISTRIBUTION 

When: Sat. April 22, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. 
Where: Tribeca Film Center, 375 Greenwich St. 
Cost: Free to all. No reservations necessary, but 
space is limited! 

AIVF proudly co- 
Q C2f ^IP^ sponsors PS 2000, 
1 V y / the New York festi- 

val that brings shorts 
back to the big 
screen in style. The fifth edition of this New 
York-based festival brings a balance of festival 
favorites, diamond-in-the-rough discoveries, 
and tragically neglected oddities, emphasizing 
craftsmanship and community over competi- 
tion.' Check them out every Monday in April at 
Anthology Film Archives. For more info: 
www.ps00.com 

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: 
Digital Video, & Why I Had To Remind Myself 
That Film Still Exists 

1 1:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m. Digitial video and applications 
are truly opening doors for filmmakers. But is the overall 
quality of indie film slumping as a result, and is it really 
necessary to write off film for your guerilla projects? 
Join our discussion with directors & cinemaographers on 
weighing format options and on making the best aesthet- 
ic choices for your film in this panel on craft and tech- 
nologies. 

Fine Tuning Shorts Distribution: 
2-3:30 p.m. Get in on this panel with distributors from 
cable, video, and internet outlets on wlxat to expect from 
your short film distribution deal-including what to look 
for in contracts, and how to work with your distributor 
to maximize viewer potential. 

Details posted at www.aivf.org. 

MEET & GREET 

INTERNET DISTRIBUTORS 

Wien: Tues. April 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 
Cost: Free to members/$10 general public 
RSVP: (212) 807-1400 x. 301 

Get ahead on the dot-comming of distribution 
by meeting some of the internet's reputable dis- 
tributors. How do you choose your internet dis- 



tributor out of the mish-mash of opportunities? 
What should you look out for in contracts, and 
what should you expect to get out of online 
viewership and ancillary markets? Find out in a 
discussion moderated by Rolf Gibbs, which will 
include reps from shortbuzz.com, underground- 
film. com, and others. 

MEET YOUR MAKER 

AMY TALKINGTON'S SECOND SKIN 

When: Tues., April 11, 7-9 p.m. 
Cost: $10 (AIVF members only) 
RSVP: (212) 807-1400 x. 301 (RSVP 
required — space extremely limited) 

Amy Talkington's short films, Second Skin 
(1998) and Number One Fan (1997) have been 
selected for numerous distinguished festivals, 
including the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, and 




have been acquired numerous accolades 
including the New Line Cinema Award for Best 
Director. Second Skin won the New Line 
Cinema Development Award and was acquired 
by HBO and various channels in Europe 
including Canal Plus. Amy was recently select- 
ed as one of Filmmaker Magazine's "25 New 
Indie Faces to Watch." 

Second Skin, a quirky tale of unlikely love, 
follows a gawky pet store clerk, a mesmerizing 
customer, and a six foot snake on their bus ride 
through suburban hell to a moment of freedom. 

Meet Your Maker is a series of peer workshops 
allowing filmmakers to sltare resources and learn from 
one another's approaches to film- and videomaking. 



68 THE INDEPENDENT April 2000 



(|=i££) 



The AIVF Salons provide an opportunity for 
members to discuss work, meet other indepen- 
dents, share war stories, and connect with the 
AIVF community across the country. Be sure 
to contact your local Salon Leader to confirm 
date, time, and location of the next meeting! 

AIVF has resources to assist enthusiastic and com- 
mitted members who wish to start a salon in their 
own community. Please call (212) 807-1400 x 224 
or e-mail members(waivf.org for information. 

See the salons section at www.aivf.org 
for further information. 

Albany, NY: 

When: First Wednesday of each month, 6:30pm 

Where: Borders Books & Music, Wolf Rd. 

Contact: Mike Camoin (518) 489-2083; 

mike@videosforchange.com 

Austin, TX: 

Contact: Rebecca Millner at (512) 388-7605; 
rlmillner@hotmail.com 

Atlanta, GA: 

When: Second Tuesday of the month, 7 pm 

Where: Redlight Cafe, Amsterdam Outlets 

off of Monroe Dr. 

Contact: Mark Wynns, IMAGE 

(404) 352-4225 x. 12; mark@imagefv.org, 

geninfo@imagefv.org 

Birmingham, AL: 

Contact: John Richardson, 
johnwr@mindspring.coni 



The featured artist shares her/his business and creative 
strategies through all stages of completing a specific 
project. Topics include: fundraising, grant writing, 
budgeting, schediding, shooting, post, and distribution 
approaches and alternatives, all within the constraints 
of a small budget. 

CoirdiTLg in. May 

REGIONAL PROGRAM 

MAESTRO 

AIVF and the National Alliance of Media Arts 
Centers (NAMAC) kick off our Media Arts 
Environmental Scanning Tour at the end of 
April! MAESTRO brings representatives of 
AIVF and NAMAC to regional media arts 
communities to partner with local organiza- 
tions for a three-day celebration of local 
resources. Events in each city include screen- 
ings, studio visits, informal dialogues, and peer- 
led technical workshops for both individual 
artists and media arts organizations. Also, in 
each city Grantmakers in Film and Electronic 
Media (GFEM) will co-present a panel bringing 
together artists, media arts organizations, and 
local hinders to address the challenges facing 
media funding in the 21st century. 

Through MAESTRO, our national organiza- 



Boulder, CO: 

Monthly activist screenings: 

When: Second Thursday of the month, 7 pm 

Where: Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice 

Center, 1520 Euclid Ave. 

Other events: Call for date and location. 

Contact: Jon Stout, (303) 442-8445; 

programming@fstv.org 

Boston, MA: 

Contact: Fred Simon, (508) 528-7279; 
FSimon@aol.com 

Charleston, SC: 

When: Last Thursday of each month 6:30-8:45pm 

Where: Charleston County Library Auditorium, 

68 Calhoun St. 

Contact: Peter Paolini, (843) 805-6841; 

filmsalon@aol.com 

Cleveland, OH: 

Contact: Annetta Marion and Bernadette Gillota 
(216) 781-1755; AnnettaLM@aol.com, 
OhioIndieFiImFest@juno.com 

Dallas, TX: 

Contact: Bart Weiss, (214) 999-8999; 
bart@videofest.org 

Lincoln, NE: 

When: 2nd Wednesday of the month, 5:30 pm 

Where: Telepro, 1844 "N" Street 

Contact: Dorothy Booraem, (402) 476-5422 or 

dot@inetnebr.com, 

www.lincolnne.com/nonprofit/nifp/ 



tions will get a vivid snapshot of the unique 
qualities of various media arts communities, 
while the program will offer an occasion for 
communities to celebrate their native resources 
and strengthen partnerships on a local level. 

Our visits to Los Angeles, Buffalo, and New 
Orleans represent a pilot project, so be sure to 
let us know if you would like us to bring MAE- 
STRO to your community in the future! 

The following is just a rough outline of 
events, subject to change. RSVPs required. For 
more info: www.aivf.org; maestro@aivf.org; 
Katie Cokinos at (212) 807-1400 x 232; or the 
local hotlines listed below. 

Los Angeles, Sunday April 30-Tuesday May 2 

hotline: (323) 871-8554 

April 30: filmmakers' coffee, public exhibition 

May 1 : open studios, public exhibition 

May 2: workshops, GFEM panel presentation at USC 

Annenberg Center followed by reception & video exhibit 

Buffalo, Friday, May 12 - Sunday, May 14 

hotline: (212) 807-1400x244 

May 12: open studios, public exhibition 

May 13: workshops, GFEM panel, reception, exhibition 

May 14: filmmakers' breakfast 

New Orleans, Friday, May 19 - Sunday, May 2 I 



Los Angeles, CA: 

Contact: Lee Lew Lee, engnetwork@pacbell.net 

Milwaukee, WI: 

When: 1st Wednesday of the month 

Contact: Brooke Maroldi, www.mifs.org/salon or 

(414) 276-8563 

Palm Beach, FL: 

Contact: Dominic Giannetti, (561) 326-2668 or 
dgproductions@hotmail.com 

Portland, OR: 

Contact: Beth Harrington, (360) 256-6254; 
betuccia@aol.com 

Rochester, NY: 

Contact: Chuck Schroeder, (716) 442-8286; 
www.members.tripod.com/rochaivf/index.html 

San Diego, CA: 

Contact: Paul Espinosa, (619) 284-9811 or 
espinosa@electriciti.com 

Tampa, FL: 

Contact: Frank Mondaruli (813) 690-4416; 
rmondarl@tampabay.rr.com 

Tucson, AZ: 

Contact: Heidi Noel Brozek, 
bridge@theriver.com; Rosarie Salerno, 
destiny@azstarnet.com; or visit 
http://access.tucson.org/aivf/ 

Washington, DC: 

Contact: DC Salon hotline (202) 554-3263 x.4; 
sowande@bella tlantic.net 



hotline: New Orleans Film Society (504)523-3818 
May 19: open studios, Bay Area filmmaker Daring 
Plotnick screens work at Zeitgeist Theater 
May 20: artists' workshop: Self distribution, including 
broadband opportunities; organizations' workshop: 
Fundraising; GFEM panel; reception; public exhibition 
of work from the Southern Region 
May 21: filmmakers' breakfast 

HOW TO PITCH TO PBS 

Get in on must-have tips and pointers for 
pitching your project to PBS or any other 
broadcast outlet. Details to come. 

AIVF CO-SPONSORS 

SELECT SCREENINGS AT WALTER READE THEATER, 
PRESENTED BY THE FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER 
AIVF members may attend specific events at 
discounted prices. Please show membership 
card at box office. The Walter Reade Theatre is 
located at Lincoln Center, 165 W. 65th Street 
at Broadway in NYC. For more info, contact 
the Film Society ol 1 incoln Center box ottice .it 
(212) 875-5600 or www.filrnlinc.corn 



The Art of Film Titles: April 7 & 8 
Blame Canada: April 14 J 7 



April .\\Y THE INDEPENDENT 69 




1M0NTHI 




JANUARY/FEBRUARY 

• The Digital Revolution: Why Hal Hartley, 
Todd Verow & others made the switch 

• Dogma 99: U.S. indies write their own 
vows 

• The pros and cons of shooting in B&W 

• FAQs: Distributor — Artisan 
Entertainment; Funder — The Jerome 
Foundation 





APRIL 



• How to pick a producer: Pointers from 
indie veteran Gill Holland 

• Deadling with casting directors who 
demand producer credits 

• Has the artsyplex boom housebroken 
indie film? 

•FAQs: Distributor — Stratosphere; 
Funder — Creative Capital Foundation 



JULY 
Experimental Media 

• Behind The Blair Witch Project 

• Exhibition opportunities — and audi- 
ences — for experimental media 

• An interview with Leighton Pierce 

• FAQs: Distributor — V Tape; 

Funder — Experimental Television Center 




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c 




"AMERICAN MOVIE" 

wot w \VA;mii.~i;. ! -m 



OCTOBER 
Documentary Today 

•Made in Milwaukeewood: 
Chris Smith's American Movie 

• A&E's growing partnership with 
independent documentarians 

• Archival footage research goes hi-tech 

• FAQs: Distributor — Univ. of California 
Extension Center; Funder — Soros Fund 



To order back issues, contact info@aivf.org or send $5/issue 
(plus $1.50 s&h for a single copy; $1 for each additional copy) to: 

The Independent — Back Issues Orders 
304 Hudson St. (6th fl.), New York, NY 10013. 



MINUTES 
FIVF/AIVF BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING 

The winter AIVF board meeting was held in New York City January 8- 
9, with Robb Moss (co-chair), Diane Markrow (co-chair), Jim McKay 
(vice president & secretary), Robert Richter (treasurer), Doug Block, 
DeeDee Halleck, Lee Lew-Lee, Valerie Soe, Cynthia Lopez (FIVF), 
Elizabeth Peters (ex-officio) and AIVF/FIVF staff attending. Absent were 
Vivian Kleiman, Graham Leggat and Richard Linklater. 

The current board and staff welcomed new members, Block and Halleck. 
(Kleiman was unable to attend.) The executive committee presented their 
recommendations for the new board officer slate: Markrow as president, 
Moss as vice president, McKay as chair, Soe as secretary, Richter to con- 
tinue on as treasurer and Peters to continue on as executive director. All 
were in favor. 

Richter moved to re-appoint James Schamus, Ruby Lerner and Cynthia 
Lopez to the FIVF board. Halleck abstained. All others were in favor. 

The minutes of the fall meeting were approved. The treasurer's report 
indicated that net income to date is $16,000, which is $41,000 ahead 
of where we were at this time last year. 

The board discussed policy regarding board member alternates. In 1998 
a change in the alternate policy was instituted which attached the slate of 
alternates to the term for which they were elected. Block motioned to 
return to the previous policy which administered the acquisition of new 
alternates with each election year. All were in favor. 

Staff report highlights: Michelle Coe reported on the success of 'After 
Hours," a new program which keeps AlVF's filmmaker's resource library 
open after work hours one evening each month. Coe also reported that she 
would like to develop a way to share our New York events with our con- 
stituency in the rest of the nation. She would like to encourage salon lead- 
ers to conduct similar events in their own communities. Thomson dis- 
cussed a new column in celebration of the AIVF/FIVF anniversary, "In 
Retrospect," which will revisit material from the Independent magazine's 
history. 

Guest speaker Michelle Byrd of the Independent Feature Project made an 
informal presentation to the board and staff, 

Committee report highlights: 

25th Anniversary: McKay reported a decision to hold the event in 
November. Discussion of the AIVF Hall